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If you’ve had back or neck pain that didn’t go away on its own, your doctor has probably told you about pinched nerves. In fact, most people tend to dismiss most of their back pain as a “pinched nerve.” And while the condition is common, it is often the result of any type of degenerative spine condition that causes pain and other symptoms. A pinched nerve in the spine can be difficult to treat because there are so many potential causes for nerve compression.

A pinched nerve is a nerve under pressure, whether from swelling around it or a mechanical issue in the spine. A nerve under enough pressure will lose its ability to carry accurate signals, and its wayward signals can cause a variety of sensations in the body. For example, when a nerve is pinched or compressed, it can trigger the nerve to falsely signal pain. The compression also can limit the nerve’s ability to control the muscles it serves.

Pinched Nerve Symptoms

When a nerve is pinched, your initial symptoms may include localized pain. However, a pinched spinal nerve can also cause pain, burning, tingling, numbness, muscle spasms and muscle weakness that are far removed from the point of pressure. The symptoms that arise from a pinched nerve are called radiculopathy and will largely depend on the exact location of the problem:

  • Pinched nerve in the cervical spine (neck) — symptoms can be felt in the neck, shoulders, biceps, forearms, hands, fingers and various upper body muscle groups
  • Pinched nerve in the thoracic spine (middle back) — symptoms can be felt in the upper or middle back and radiate through the stomach or chest, which patients might confuse for heart problems
  • Pinched nerve in the lumbar spine (lower back) — symptoms can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, hips, legs and feet

Pinched Nerve Treatment

  • Physical therapy

  • Medication

  • Minimally Invasive Injections

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

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