Nerves travel throughout our bodies and when they are in narrow spaces without much tissues protecting them – such as the spine – they are more vulnerable of being compressed. This compression is often referred to as a “pinched nerve” and can cause pain throughout the body, but mostly commonly in the neck, back and legs.
While the pain associated with a pinched nerve can subside on its own, if symptoms persist or worsen it is important to seek medical attention to uncover the root of the condition and determine a path to pain relief.
The pressure creating a pinched nerve can trigger both acute and chronic pain, as well as a tingling, numbness, or weakness in specific parts in the body. Identifying and keeping track of where pain is centralized can help pinpoint if a pinched nerve is the cause of these symptoms.
For example, pain radiating down the lower back to the buttocks and legs can be caused by pinched nerve from a herniated disc in the lower spine, whereas a pinched nerve higher in the spine the pain may manifest in the neck or upper back and shoulders. Undergoing a full evaluation and diagnosis from Dr. Bruggeman will determine the cause of your pain and what spine condition needs to be addressed.
Identifying the location of the pinched nerve is key to defining the best treatment method to resolve your unique condition. While conservative measures like physical therapy, medications, or spinal injections can relieve the pain temporarily, if nerve compression is left untreated for a long time, the protective area around the nerve could break down, causing fluid to build up or scarring, which can interfere with the nerve’s function.
Depending on the location of the affected nerve, Dr. Bruggeman may recommend surgical procedures like a discectomy if the cause of the pinched nerve is a herniated disc or bone spur so the bone or material putting pressure on the nerve can be removed and relieve the associated pain. A full evaluation from Dr. Bruggeman is necessary for a proper treatment plan and to prevent worsening symptoms or subsequent conditions from developing.
Take the first step toward a pain-free life. Use our online pain evaluation tool to determine what treatment may be right for you.