Do you suffer from pain in your back or neck due to pinched nerves? If so, you are not alone. This is a very common problem that can lead to extreme pain and discomfort. To complicate things further, the symptoms of pinched nerves can be very varied, making it confusing to figure out if the pain is actually coming from the pinched nerve or from another structure from the spine. In this blog post, we will discuss why and how our nerves get irritated or pinched and what a nerve pain can feel like.
Our spine is made up of vertebrae stacked on top of each other with jelly like discs between them. There is set of nerves coming out from either side of the spine. These nerves can get irritated or compressed due to different causes, ranging from a disc prolapse to bony spurs from osteoarthritis (OA spine), or simply swelling in the area due to trauma or muscle spasm, leading to the symptoms of pinched nerve.
Interestingly specific nerves supply certain parts of the body. Example: If the nerve is originating in the lower back (lumbar spine) the symptoms can be seen anywhere from the buttock to the toes and if the pinched nerve is present in the neck (cervical spine) the symptoms can present anywhere from the shoulders to the fingers. This is the reason when your doctor says that you have a nerve compression at your 5th cervical vertebra the symptoms are felt in the shoulder area.
Moving on to the symptoms of a pinched nerve, these can vary from burning, achy pain, pins and needles, tingling, numbness or a combination of tingling numbness that closely resembles the feeling of your leg falling asleep when you have sat in one position for too long. It can also manifest as loss or lack of sensation in the legs or arms. You may feel a little unsteady when walking or lifting heavy objects. You might have a severe ache going down the leg or arm. An example of this is sciatica, which is a sharp, achy pain in the buttock that can go down all the way to your heel.
The symptom that your pinched nerve exhibits always depends on which part of your nerve is affected. A nerve is similar to an electric wire. When you cut it open it has multiple smaller never fibres, each of which carries a certain sensation such as burning, numbness, pain etc up to your brain. Your symptoms will depend on which specific nerve fibre is being compressed in your nerve.
Watch this video to learn 4 easy tips to relieve the pain from pinched nerves:
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