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Treatment Options for a Pinched Nerve

If you have ever had the unpleasant experience of relentless neck or back pain, your primary focus is relief. Pain that sticks around for weeks requires a trip to the doctor for a diagnosis. Most likely, you will find out that you have a pinched nerve. If so, your doctor will prescribe compressed nerve treatment, which is another term for this condition.

What are Treatment Options for a Pinched Nerve?

Often, a pinched nerve occurs from a degenerative spine condition such as spinal stenosis. During some point in most people’s lives, this becomes a common occurrence. Yet, it can be difficult to treat because there are many causes for having nerve compression.

Rather than self-diagnosis, the best thing to do when pain starts from what you believe is a pinched nerve is go see your doctor. He or she has the best knowledge and tools to make a more accurate diagnosis than what you may find searching the Internet.

What are the Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve?

In some cases, pain is the only thing you feel with nerve compression. In other cases, you may have other symptoms and no pain. Common pinched nerve symptoms include:

  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Weakness while performing certain activities
  • A burning feeling best described as “pins and needles”
  • Pain that radiates
  • Pain in the neck or lower back

Certain movements of your neck or head may cause some symptoms to get worse.

What are Treatment Options for a Pinched Nerve?

Treatment for a pinched nerve varies based on the cause and severity of the compression. The length of time it takes for symptoms to end can also vary from one person to the next.

In your situation, you might find that simply resting the injured area is enough to relieve pain symptoms. Avoiding activities that seem to agitate your symptoms is another thing that you can do on your own. Some treatment options may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling
  • Oral corticosteroids to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Steroid injections may also reduce swelling. Inflamed nerves can recover with this form of treatment.
  • Physical therapy to strengthen and stretch muscles.

Symptoms that persist or include severe pain require medical attention. Severe cases that do not respond to other forms of treatment might need surgery to remove whatever is pressing on a nerve. These could be pieces of bone, scar tissue or disc material.

Working with your doctor, you can find the best approach to treating pinched nerve symptoms.