AABP Integrative Pain Care

What Does a Pinched Nerve Actually Feel Like?

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A pinched nerve can cause a range of symptoms that affect your mobility and ultimately your quality of life. Learn more about what symptoms to look for if you think you have a pinched nerve and which treatments are available to manage them.

If you’ve ever had a sudden jolt of pain in your back, neck or limbs, it may be the result of a pinched nerve. This common condition affects people of all ages, but can become more common as you get older.

At AABP Integrative Pain Care, our experienced pain management specialists can address persistent pain that a pinched nerve can cause. Our providers can also reduce other pinched nerve issues, so you can stay active and symptom-free.

Why you have a pinched nerve

A pinched nerve develops when underlying conditions compress nearby nerves. Too much pressure on your nerves can come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Trauma
  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Inflammation
  • Herniated disc

Pinched nerves can occur anywhere in your body. For instance, if you do a lot of computer work, the excess pressure on your lower arm can lead to a pinched nerve in the carpal tunnel of your wrist – a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Prolonged pressure on any of your nerves is what leads to the worsening of your symptoms.

Warning signs of a pinched nerve

A pinched nerve can cause a range of symptoms that range from occasional and mild to persistent and severe. These symptoms affect the region where the pinched nerve lies and can include:

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Muscle weakness

The pain of a pinched nerve can also start in one area and radiate outward. For instance, if you have a pinched nerve in your neck, you might feel pain and other symptoms down into your shoulders and arms. A pinched nerve in your lower back can cause weakness and numbness in your hips, legs, and feet.

When to get help for a pinched nerve

Often, a mild pinched nerve can heal itself with rest, over-the-counter medications, and activity modifications. However, if your pain persists or your symptoms get worse even with home care, it's time to schedule a diagnostic evaluation with our team at AABP Integrative Pain Care.

Our pain specialists complete a physical exam to assess how your pinched nerve symptoms are affecting your musculoskeletal system and mobility. We also offer X-rays and other diagnostic technologies in-office to learn more about the root cause of your pain and confirm a pinched nerve.

Based on the severity of your symptoms and the location of your pinched nerve, we design a treatment plan to ease your symptoms and prevent your condition from worsening. 

Exploring your treatment options for a pinched nerve

Your customized pinched nerve treatment plan may include conservative therapies like:

If you have severe pain or nerve damage, you may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat energy to destroy the damaged nerve. This prevents pain signals from traveling from your nerve to your brain.

Our providers also specialize in spinal cord stimulation to provide long-term pain relief. This treatment involves the implantation of a small generator just under the surface of your skin. The generator connects to lead wires that attach to inflamed or damaged nerves. An electrical current travels through the wires into your nerve to block pain signals.

In addition to nonsurgical and surgical treatments, we can also suggest lifestyle changes and stretching exercises you can do to prevent a pinched nerve from returning.

Call the AABP Integrative Pain Care office near you to schedule an diagnostic evaluation for a pinched nerve or book an appointment online today.