Pinched nerves in the spine can cause serious back pain. Any pressure applied to a nerve by surrounding muscles, bones or tissue will produce irritation and will disrupt the nerve’s functioning. Symptoms of a pinched nerve range from aches and pains to numbness to a weakening of muscles.
Fibrous pads or disks separate spinal vertebrae from one another. The outer layer of the disc is strong and flexible, encasing a soft, jellylike core. When strain or injury weakens the outer layer, the condition known as a herniated disc can occur. This causes the disk to bulge and press against, one of the spinal nerves. This results in severe pain.
This condition popularly known as a slipped disc tends to occur in the parts of the spine that are the most mobile: the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine). Heavy lifting, obesity and contact sports can contribute to the problem.
A pinched nerve can occur as the result of pregnancy, repetitive motions or a joint disease. Thankfully, a pinched nerve generally heals in a few days to a few weeks. Chronic cases can result from persistent irritation of the affected nerve. In some cases, damage to the nerve can become permanent.