A pinched nerve can be a source of pain and/or numbness, ranging from mild to severe. An example of what a pinched nerve feels like is the pain and tingling you feel when you bang your funny bone. What you are doing is pinching the nerve between the bone in your elbow and whatever you hit it on. The pain and numbness usually travels from your elbow to your pinky, along the course of the nerve.
Nerves can get pinched between 2 bones, between a bone and a spinal disc, or between a bone and a muscle or tendon, or even between two muscles, and this can occur in a number of locations in the body.
When a nerve is pinched, the blood supply to the nerve is cut off and this stops the nerve from working properly, causing any combination of numbness, weakness, loss of reflexes, and/or pain.
Sciatica (leg pain from pressure on part of the sciatic nerve) is an example of a pinched nerve. It can be pinched between 2 spinal bones (from arthritis), between a bone and an injured disc (disc herniation), or between 2 muscles (Piriformis syndrome).
Treatment is usually very effective if the right treatment is directed at the right place. Treatments vary, depending on whether the nerve is caught between 2 bones, bone and muscle, or bone and spinal disc.
Treatments may include active release therapy (myofascial release), non-surgical spinal decompression, MedX Medical lumbar rehab, cold laser therapy, stretches, foot orthotics, and other treatments, depending on the situation.
Many times, people have an intense, sharp pain in their neck or back and think it’s a pinched nerve. Most often this is actually NOT a pinched nerve, but pinched joint tissue. This is a different problem and treated differently, often with ice, laser, spinal manipulation, and/or other treatments.
If you think you may have a pinched nerve, Calgary residents can contact Alberta Back and Neck Rehab & Sports Injuries Clinic to schedule a consultation. Call today.