Pinched Nerves is a condition resulting from undue pressure subjected on nerve endings by the surrounding tissues, bones, ligaments or tendons. The nerve endings provide sensation to various parts of the body where they are present, by conducting nerve signals, processed by the central nervous system (brain & spinal cord). The undue pressure causing pinched nerves can be caused due to various factors such as sleeping on one side of the body or any particular body part regularly for prolonged periods, obesity, poor posture maintained during work hours, any spinal injury, herniated discs in the spinal column or engaging in strenuous exercises. The symptoms of pinched nerves usually involve radiating back, neck, shoulder pain or in wrist or extremities, feeling of numbness or loss of sensation in the concerned area, burning or aching pain and muscle weakness.
Treatment for Pinched Nerves
The line of management varies according to the severity of the implications on the affected area resulting from the pinched nerves.
Physiotherapy involves passive (where the physiotherapist performs the treatment on you) or active (where you need to do certain exercises yourself) treatments or exercises which reduce the pain by flexing the muscles of the affected areas. This eases the compression and relieves the nerves.
Certain medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), painkillers, steroids or injections help to relieve symptoms and pain in the affected areas. Drugs are effective when the symptoms are not very severe.
Certain severe cases of pinched nerves such as herniated discs of the vertebrae can cause chronic symptoms without much relief through the above lines of treatment. In such cases, surgical excision of the bone outgrowth in the vertebrae is effective.
Measures to prevent the occurrence of Pinched Nerves
- Maintaining Erect Posture for sedentary jobs
- Losing weight if obese
- Avoid lying on particular body part while sleeping or resting
- Engage in Regular Exercise
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