… What You Really Need to Know
If you’ve been feeling “pins and needles” in your hands or feet, numbness or frequent sensations that your extremities have “fallen asleep,” you may have been told you have a “pinched nerve.” This commonly used term can describe a variety of conditions that occur when a nerve receives too much pressure from surrounding tissues, bone or cartilage, in essence “pinching” it and preventing the nerve from transmitting electrical signals properly.
Eventually, excess pressure on your nerves can cause them to stop working entirely, which is what leads to feelings of numbness or muscle weakness. Initially, however, tingling, burning and shooting pains are common — even in areas you may not associate with a pinched nerve.
Pinched Nerves Can Cause Wide-Reaching Pain
For instance, neck and back pain are often associated with a pinched nerve due to inflammation and pressure on the nerve root as it exits your spine. However, a pinched nerve in your back can also cause pain to radiate outward through your buttocks and spine. So pain in your calf could actually indicate a pinched nerve in your back. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your neck may cause pain to radiate down your arm. Sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and slipped, prolapsed, bulging or ruptured discs are all conditions associated with pinched nerves in various locations.
It’s important to realize, however, that a pinched nerve is generally a symptom of an underlying problem, not a “disease” in and of itself. For instance, a herniated disc in your back can “pinch” a nerve in your spine, or arthritis of the spine may lead to bone spurs that in turn create increased pressure or “pinching” of the surrounding nerves.
Further, many of the underlying causes of back pain, including muscle imbalances, poor posture, repetitive stresses, injury and obesity, are identical to those that create the “perfect storm” of conditions to put your nerves under enough pressure to cause pain.
As with many back pain issues, this is not a problem that occurs overnight, even if your symptoms came on suddenly.
Are You at Risk of Permanent Nerve Damage?
As long as you recognize the problem and get proper treatment that addresses the underlying problem, you can recover fully from a pinched nerve. However, if you simply rely on symptom relief, without relieving the inflammation and pressure on your nerves, irreversible damage can occur. As the Mayo Clinic states:[i]
” … pressure causes inflammation of the nerve and disrupts the nerve’s function. If a nerve is pinched for only a short time, there’s typically no permanent damage. Once the pressure is relieved, nerve function returns to normal. However, if the pressure continues, chronic pain and permanent nerve damage can occur.”
If you are experiencing sharp or burning pain, tingling, muscle weakness or twitching, numbness or feelings that a hand or foot has “fallen asleep,” excess pressure on a nerve could be to blame, and it’s important to act quickly to get a proper diagnosis. As the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes points out:[ii]
“Early diagnosis is important to prevent further damage or complications.”
Temporary pain relief can be used in the short-term, ideally in a form that will not expose you to serious side effects. Hot and cold therapy or Rub on Relief, a cream that contains only natural healing ingredients, are examples of therapies to help you safely relieve pain.
As far as treatment goes, there are no pills, creams or injections that can create postural balance in your body, which is what is necessary to reduce the pressure on the nerve and restore its proper function.
Looking for a Free Treasure Trove of Pinched Nerve and Back Care Tips?
If you are tired of living with back pain, you came to the right place. By subscribing to the Web’s Best Back Pain Newsletter using the “Subscribe Now” button in the upper right corner of this page, you’ll receive the information you need to get lasting relief for your pinched nerve symptoms — and it’s all for free.
You truly have nothing to lose by signing up today, other than that nagging ache or tingling in your back or leg. As we mentioned, there are no prescription drugs or injections on the market that will get to the root of your pain; even surgery is not a permanent solution because without addressing the underlying imbalances, the pain is likely to return!
What you need to be considering instead — which you can learn about in detail in our newsletter — are options your conventional doctor may not have told you about, options like Muscle Balance Therapy,â„¢ which addresses both the pain of a pinched nerve and the root of the problem — in other words, what’s causing the pressure in the first place.
Through strategic body assessments, your individual muscle imbalances can be identified. Once that is done, a very targeted corrective program can be designed for your specific needs! Likewise, there are specific exercises you can learn to strengthen muscles and help relieve pressure on the affected nerve. Trigger points, tiny contraction knots in your muscles and tissues that develop when an area of your body is injured or over-worked, can also be involved in pinched-nerve related conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. And in that case, Trigger Point Therapy can be a very effective form of lasting self-treatment.
The bottom line is that your back pain, whether it’s due to a pinched nerve caused by arthritis or a ruptured disc, or the result of years of poor posture or overwork, is unique, and as such may not benefit from a “cookie-cutter” pharmaceutical or surgical approach. Real and proven solutions that will address your underlying postural or muscular imbalances is often much more effective, and those are what you will get in every issue of the FREE LosetheBackPain.com newsletter above!