If you suffer from back, neck, or leg pain, you might be correct to suspect a pinched nerve. Aside from pain, other signs related to this condition are numbness, tingling, and weakness.

A pinched nerve can happen in various body parts and manifest as different sensations. For example, a pinched nerve in the wrist can result in numbness or pain in the hands or fingers. On the other hand, a herniated disk can lead to radiating pain in the legs.

Here’s everything to know about pinched nerves, including factors that cause it and methods of prevention. Still, remember that it’s best to consult a doctor if you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort. By consulting a professional, you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

What Causes a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve happens when surrounding tissue puts too much pressure on a nerve. Sometimes, the affected area can involve cartilage, tendons, or bones causing the compression instead of tissue. Various factors and conditions can lead to a pinched nerve.

One risk factor to look out for is gender. Unfortunately, women are more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome, which puts pressure on the meridian nerve. Women have smaller carpal tunnels, which can become even more restricted due to hormonal changes. People with thyroid disease are also at higher risk for pinched nerves. When left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to fluid buildup and compression in the nerves in the arms and legs.

People with hobbies or jobs that require repetitive motions of the fingers, wrists, and shoulders can also suffer from a pinched nerve. Certain repetitive movements can cause inflammation and tearing, compressing the nerves in that area. Other risk factors include injuries, obesity, diabetes, and pregnancy.

How to Treat a Pinched Nerve

Most people won’t have to undergo treatment for a pinched nerve. The condition usually goes away within four to six weeks with the help of rest and over-the-counter pain medications. You can also apply ice to the swollen area to relieve the pain.

While most cases are usually mild, a pinched nerve can become a severe and chronic condition that can leave permanent damage. You should seek professional advice if the symptoms persist or worsen. Your doctor might ask you to wear a cervical collar or splint to address hand, wrist, or neck issues. They might also let you undergo physical therapy to help alleviate the pressure on the pinched nerve.

If non-invasive treatments don’t work, the last resort will be surgery. Most people will be able to go back to their desk jobs after a few days or weeks post-surgery. But it can take several months to regain full motion and strength in the body.

How to Prevent a Pinched Nerve

While you can’t completely prevent a pinched nerve, there are several ways to lower your risk for them. Maintaining good posture and a healthy weight will help. You can also incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your workout routine. It’s also essential to take breaks from repetitive movements and not to remain in one position for too long.

The Bottom Line

A pinched nerve shouldn’t be a cause for worry. Most people can overcome the condition with rest and home treatment. Even if your doctor calls for surgery, you can expect to make a full recovery in due time. For more information, contact Fletcher Chiropractic at 402-261-5766.