What causes a pinched nerve?

In Health News

Are you worried about pain in your joints, spine, or another tender area of the body? You may have a pinched nerve. In this guide, we’ll help you determine whether or not your pain is a pinched nerve and when to seek a doctor for pain relief solutions. 

A pinched nerve is a compressed nerve in your spine or peripheral nervous system that causes pain, numbness, tingling, and other unusual sensations out of the blue. Experiencing a pinched nerve can be scary, as you never know if or when the pain will go away. At PPOA, we take these conditions seriously and want to help you find the right solutions for nerve pain. 

Pinched nerves are unfortunately widespread, with 85 in every 100,000 U.S. adults experiencing one in their lifetime. People 50 and older are more likely to experience them due to arthritis and degenerative bone diseases, but they can happen to anyone at any time. 

While most pinched nerves occur in the spine, they can originate in the joints or other areas of the body. So if you’re experiencing unusual pain or numbness in one of these areas, it could very well be a pinched nerve. 

What Causes A Pinched Nerve?

Herniated disks most commonly cause pinched nerves in the spine. When the disk between vertebrates slips, it can cause pain down the spine and into the legs. However, this is not the only cause of pinched nerves. They can occur due to: 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sudden or repetitive injuries in the spine or joints (such as lifting heavy objects or repetitive wrist movement
  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy (swelling and weight gain during pregnancy can put more pressure on the joints)

Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?

Frequently patients delay visiting a physician for their pinched nerve because they believe it isn’t bad enough to warrant a doctor’s visit. However, these symptoms can worsen over time, so if you experience any of them, you should seek help: 

  • Sharp or dull pain in the spine or joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling 
  • Numbness 
  • A frequent or unexplained “falling asleep” sensation

When To See A Doctor

If your nerve pain is mild, you may delay going to the doctor for three to four weeks. Rest and over-the-counter pain relief medication may help to allow the nerve to heal on its own. However, if the pain does not go away, you need to seek a doctor. This can turn into chronic pain or, worse, permanent nerve damage. 

PPOA offers comprehensive pain management treatments, including physical therapy, targeted medications, and surgical interventions to ensure your pain goes away for good. We want to help you lead a pain-free life without debilitating everyday pain killers, which is why our physicians go over a variety of options to comprise your treatment plan. To learn more about our options for nerve pain, contact your local PPOA office today. 



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