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Pinched Nerve

2110 S 17th St


600 Beaman St
Clinton, NC 28328

116 N Norwood St
Wallace, NC 28466

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve occurs when pressure or compression is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues such as bones, cartilage, muscles, or tendons. This compression disrupts the nerve's function, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the area supplied by the affected nerve. Pinched nerves can occur anywhere in the body but are most common in the spine (cervical or lumbar), wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome), and elbows (ulnar nerve entrapment).

Common Causes of Pinched Nerve:

  1. Herniated Disc:

    • When the soft inner material of a spinal disc protrudes through the tough outer shell, pressing on nearby nerves.

    • Commonly affects the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) spine.

  2. Bone Spurs:

    • Bony growths that develop on the edges of bones due to osteoarthritis or aging.

    • Spurs can compress nearby nerves, causing pain and other symptoms.

  3. Soft Tissue Injuries:

    • Muscles, tendons, or ligaments can become inflamed or swollen due to repetitive motions or overuse, compressing nearby nerves.

  4. Poor Posture:

    • Prolonged sitting or standing in an awkward position can put pressure on nerves, particularly in the spine or wrists.

  5. Trauma or Injury:

    • Accidents, falls, or sports injuries can cause sudden compression or damage to nerves.

  6. Pregnancy:

    • Hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy can compress nerves, especially in the lower back and wrists.

  7. Repetitive Activities:

    • Activities that involve repetitive motions, such as typing or assembly line work, can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.


  • Pain that may be sharp, burning, or radiating.

  • Numbness or tingling sensation ("pins and needles").

  • Muscle weakness in the affected area.

  • Sensitivity to touch.

  • Radiating pain that travels along the nerve path (e.g., down the arm or leg).

Common Injuries Associated with Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves themselves are not injuries but can lead to complications and conditions that may require medical attention:

  1. Muscle Weakness and Atrophy:

    • Prolonged compression of a nerve can lead to muscle weakness and wasting in the affected area.

  2. Nerve Damage:

    • Severe or prolonged compression can lead to permanent nerve damage, affecting sensory and motor function.

  3. Chronic Pain:

    • Persistent pinched nerves can cause chronic pain, affecting quality of life and daily activities.

  4. Loss of Function:

    • Depending on the nerve affected and severity of compression, there may be a loss of function in the muscles supplied by the nerve.

  5. Impaired Mobility:

    • Pain and weakness associated with pinched nerves can impair mobility and limit range of motion.

Prevention and Management

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Avoid activities that exacerbate symptoms and allow time for the nerve to heal.

  • Physical Therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises to relieve pressure on the nerve and improve flexibility.

  • Medications: Pain relievers (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and in some cases, corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.

  • Splinting or Bracing: Immobilizing the affected area to reduce pressure on the nerve (e.g., wrist splints for carpal tunnel syndrome).

  • Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying heat packs or cold compresses to the affected area to alleviate pain and inflammation.

  • Ergonomic Adjustments: Ensuring proper posture and ergonomic setups at workstations to reduce strain on nerves.

  • Surgical Options: In severe cases or when conservative treatments fail, surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the nerve (e.g., discectomy for herniated discs, carpal tunnel release surgery).

Effective management of a pinched nerve involves identifying the underlying cause, reducing pressure on the affected nerve, and addressing symptoms promptly to prevent complications and promote healing.

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