“I am in terrible, excruciating pain. A few days ago, I had a knot in the back of my shoulder blade. I used heating pads and did some stretching. The next morning, I woke up, and the pain was unbearable. It felt like my arm was on fire. The pain radiated through my arm, and my pinky felt numb. If I straighten my arm, the pain would intensify to what I would classify as a nine.”Do you hear your voice reflected in the above-mentioned statements? If so, you, like millions of other individuals around the world, may be dealing with a pinched nerve.We understand how painful, debilitating, and demoralizing dealing with pinched nerves can be. We are eager to use our expertise to help you learn how to manage your pinched nerve pain and if possible set you on the road to live a pain-free life. But first, let’s spend a few minutes and discuss why you have pinched nerve pain.
How Your Nervous System Works
Your nervous system is complicated. It goes from your brain to your spinal cord and from there sends messages to the rest of your body. When a nerve gets pinched, or when you are suffering nerve compression, your body warns you about the damage to the nerve by sending pain signals. These pain signals are serious, and they should not be ignored.
A compressed nerve may result in minor damage or in serious damage. The problem that causes it may be temporary, or it can affect you for the rest of your life. As with most medical situations, the earlier you address it, the better the end outcome will be.
It is not always possible to undo nerve damage, but we can work with you to relieve some of the pain that a pinched nerve causes.
What Causes Pinched Nerves?
As the name implies, when you have a pinched nerve, your nerve is compressed, or it is under pressure.
Sometimes the pressure is caused because of repetitive motions. Or you may hold your body still in one position for an extended period of time. An example of this is sleeping with your legs bent in an awkward position while you sleep.
Nerve compression can happen in different parts of your body, but it is more likely to take place in areas where nerves travel through restricted spaces and have a minimal amount of soft tissue protecting them.
The most common locations for nerve compression are:
What It Feels like to Have a Pinched Nerve
“The pain started traveling down my neck. From there, it went into my shoulders, the back of my forearm, and into my pinky. For a week I have been in bed with debilitating pain. I can’t sleep more than four hours a night. The pain wakes me in the middle of the night, and the pain wakes me up early in the morning.”
One of the most common places to have a pinched nerve is in the spine. This can result in neck or lower back pain. Nerve pain is radiating pain. If the pinched nerve is in the neck, the pain will be felt in the shoulder down into the arm. When the pain is in the lower back, it’ll radiate down the buttocks, into the leg, and affect the foot. This latter pain is referred to as sciatic nerve pain.
Nerve compression in your arm will cause symptoms to appear in:
- The Elbow
- The Hand
- The Wrist
- The Fingers
This can lead to painful conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
When discussing some of the effects that a pinched nerve in her shoulder was having on her arm, a young lady said, “I’m not able to use my right hand. My muscles are weak in my right arm. My forearm is tingling, and I feel a tightening in my arm, leading to spasms that are excruciating. This feels unbearable.”
What Are the Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve?
Pain is the primary symptom of a pinched nerve. However, in some rare occasions, you may have a pinched nerve without pain. Here are some of the common symptoms you will experience:
- Pain in the area where the compression is taking place. This pain will be localized in the neck, lower back, or in another compression site
- Radiating pain like sciatica
- Numbness or tingling
- The sensation of pins and needles
- A burning sensation
- Muscle weakness
The symptoms might get better or worse depending on how you move. If you turn your head, the symptoms may decrease. If you sit down, the symptoms may get worse.
If you are dealing with a pinched nerve, it is likely that you have experienced some of the frustration echoed in the words of this pinched nerve suffer: “I can hardly put any pressure on my shoulder, elbow, or hand. Getting dressed, eating, and bathing is a struggle. This pain does not make sense to me. I constantly ask myself, how long will this last?”
How We Can Help
Living with a pinched nerve can be excruciating. You feel like your nervous system, something that was designed in part to protect you, has betrayed you. Every single moment of your life is agony, and it forces you to isolate yourself from others. We understand the pain that you are going through. We empathize with you, and we want to help.
First, we need to hear from you. The nerve pain that each individual experiences is different. We cannot assume that because we’ve seen other patients with a similar condition that we know how you feel.
After we’ve had the opportunity to talk to you, we will work with you to develop a unique and individualized pain management treatment. Our goal is to provide you with short-term relief and long-term relief. We want to teach you how to manage your pain so that you can go back to living the life did before your pinched nerve.
Pinched nerves are frustrating, they are disheartening, and they minimize your quality of life. You do not have to live with unmanaged pain. Let us use our expertise to help you get back to living the life you deserve.