What Causes a Pinched Nerve?
Nerves can often be pinched, or compressed, where they leave the upper and lower spinal regions in the neck and back. This pinching can be caused by a condition such as a herniated disc or bone spurs that form from spinal arthritis. However, symptoms of a pinched nerve do not always occur at the exact location of the pinched nerve. Instead, pain associated with pinched nerves often radiates out to the peripheral nerves of the body’s extremities.
Pinched Nerve Symptoms
When an individual has a pinched nerve in the lower back, for example, symptoms of pain can radiate down the leg. A pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain travelling from the neck, through the shoulders. This can extend down the arms, and into the hands. Other specific symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
- Shooting pain
- Tingling and numbness
- Muscle weakness
Muscle spasms in the back commonly coincide with pinched nerves and can cause weakness in the arms or legs. The two most common pinched nerves in the lower back are L5 (lumbar 5) and S1 (sacral 1).
Preventing the Development of this Condition
To help reduce your chances of developing pinched nerve symptoms, avoiding high-risk activities or learning about precautionary measures to protect yourself is important. Making healthy lifestyle choices like eating a nutritious diet, managing your weight, and avoiding tobacco use can have a positive impact on spinal health.
BEST Health System is proud to offer comprehensive spine and orthopaedic care to patients suffering from chronic pain. We understand how debilitating a condition like a pinched nerve can be, and we can help you find relief. Contact BEST today to learn more about our services.