A pinched nerve is compressed by nearby tissue such as a bone, tendons, cartilage or muscles. Although other nerves can be squeezed, or pinched, we’ll focus on nerves in the cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back) and lumbar (lower back) spine.
Causes and Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve
Pinched nerves can be caused by a number of other conditions:
The symptoms of a pinched nerve can vary, depending on the location of the affected nerve.
A nerve in the cervical spine that has pressure on it from neighboring tissues may cause symptoms in the neck, the shoulders, upper torso, arms and hands:
pain—which can be shooting, sharp or aching
muscle spasms or other uncontrolled muscle movements
weakness or an atrophying of the muscle
The same symptoms, as above, can occur in the lower part of the body, including the legs and feet, if the damaged nerve is located in the thoracic or lumbar regions. If the pain comes from the sciatic nerve and travels down the leg from the buttock, it’s known as sciatica.
How Is a Pinched Nerve Diagnosed?
Your physician will determine nerve pain and dysfunction, also known as radiculopathy, through a physical examination, medical history, a review of your symptoms and accompanying conditions, and tests such as MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) scans, nerve conduction studies and electromyographic test (assesses muscle and nerve function.)
Advanced Surgical Treatments for Pinched Nerves at NSPC
Often times conservative approaches to treatments bring relief to patients, non-surgical methods such as rest, physical therapy, therapeutic exercises, medications and steroid injections. If these approaches lose their efficacy or don’t alleviate the pain symptom, sometimes surgically repairing the damage or decompressing the nerve is the best option.
Since a variety of conditions can cause a pinched nerve, consulting with an experienced neurosurgeon who is adept at treating your underlying conditions is key. Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) has a team of leading neurosurgeons who specialize in minimally invasive and complex spine surgeries.
Our doctors are knowledgeable in a wide range of surgical procedures to treat the cause of your radiculopathy, for example:
Laminectomy This decompression surgery eliminates the pressure on the nerves in the spinal column.
Microdiscectomy This minimally invasive surgery employs specialized microscopes for the neurosurgeon to remove the flawed disc, making a smaller incision offers a faster recovery time.
NSPC’s team of highly expert spine surgeons and other specialists create an elite multi-disciplinary team to help with pinched nerves and the symptoms you are suffering from. Get in touch today, and we’ll arrange for a consultation with an expert at one of our Long Island spine centers. We regularly work with patients from across New York and the tri-state area, and often from further afield as well.