A pinched nerve can develop anywhere along your spine, but it’s most common in your lower back, where 10-25% of all people end up with chronic pain. Brian Subach, MD, FACS, Diana DeWolfe, PA-C, MPAS, and the team at Subach Spinal Solutions in Arlington, Virginia, recommend early treatment with conservative therapies that can relieve your pain and help you get back to enjoying your normal activities. When your pain persists, you can depend on Dr. Subach’s surgical skill to decompress the painful nerve. To get help for a pinched nerve, call the office or book an appointment online today.
A pinched nerve, also called radiculopathy, can occur anywhere in your body when a nerve is compressed between two structures. However, pinched nerves commonly occur in your spine.
The spinal canal normally protects nerves, while small openings in each vertebra allow nerves to exit and enter the spinal canal. These protective spaces can compress nerves if you suffer a spine injury or develop a degenerative condition, such as:
Sciatica is one of the best-known types of radiculopathy. This condition occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched at the base of your spine.
Accidents happen and you can’t stop age-related degeneration, but you can lower your risk of a pinched nerve and prevent flares by staying physically fit, using good posture, and practicing good ergonomics when using electronics.
If you sit for a long time at work, it’s important to relieve the pressure on your back with frequent short breaks.
When a nerve is pinched, pain travels into your arm or leg, depending on whether the pinched nerve is in your neck or low back. Pinched nerves can also cause tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.
If the pinched nerve is in your neck, these symptoms will occur in your arm and may travel all the way to the hand. If the pinched nerve is in your low back, these symptoms will travel into the leg and may extend to your foot. You may not have pain in your neck or low back with a pinched nerve.
An acute spine injury that damages your spinal cord may need immediate surgery. For most people, however, the initial treatment for a pinched nerve is nonsurgical. The team at Subach Spinal Solutions may recommend modifying your activities, heat and ice, and medications to relieve pain, relax muscle spasms, and reduce inflammation.
If conservative therapy doesn’t relieve the pain of your pinched nerve, the next level of treatment may include interventional therapies that reduce inflammation and block the nerve signals causing your pain.
Interventional therapies, such as an epidural steroid injection and spinal cord stimulation, can effectively relieve your pain, but they don’t treat the underlying condition. The only way to repair the underlying condition is with one of several types of surgery to decompress the nerve.
If you develop symptoms like back pain and tingling in your extremities, call Subach Spinal Solutions or book an appointment online.