Pinched Nerve Symptoms, Treatments & More

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By diane
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Pinched Nerve.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Sept. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pinched-nerve/symptoms-causes/syc-20354746.
  • 2. 'Pinched Nerves: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.' Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6481-pinched-nerves.
  • 3. 'Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve) - OrthoInfo - AAOS.' OrthoInfo, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/cervical-radiculopathy-pinched-nerve/.
  • 4. 'Pinched Nerves: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.' Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6481-pinched-nerves.
  • 5. 'Pinched Nerve.' Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=pinched-nerve-134-11.
  • 6. 'What Are the Symptoms of a Pinched (Compressed) Nerve?' Stanford Health Care (SHC) - Stanford Medical Center, 16 May 2019, stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/brain-and-nerves/pinched-nerves/symptoms.html.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

A pinched nerve, or radiculopathy, is a common condition that affects around 85 of every 100,000 adults in the United States every year. It occurs when a nerve in the body gets compressed by bones, muscles, tendons or other tissues surrounding it.1‘Pinched Nerve.’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Sept. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pinched-nerve/symptoms-causes/syc-20354746.

Excess pressure on a nerve disrupts how it functions. That's why people with pinched nerves often experience concerning symptoms such as pain, tingling or numbness. Although a pinched nerve can be very uncomfortable, most people get better with self-care measures and time. When symptoms don't improve, it's important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

1. Anatomy of a Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves usually originate in the neck, upper middle back or lower back.2‘Pinched Nerves: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.’ Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6481-pinched-nerves. However, compression can happen anywhere along the course of nerve branches that spread throughout the body.

Oftentimes, the symptoms of a pinched nerve aren't felt at the actual spot where a nerve is compressed, but some distance away. For example, someone with a pinched nerve in their lower back might feel pins and needles in their toes. It's also common for someone with a pinched nerve in their neck to feel pain or burning that travels down the arm.

Pinched Nerve

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