How Do You Know If You Have a Pinched Nerve?

Pain from a pinched nerve is rarely something that goes unnoticed or ignored for too long. If you’re experiencing sudden or persistent pain, especially around your spine or in seemingly unrelated areas like your legs or arms, the culprit may be a nerve that was “pinched,” or suddenly compressed or temporarily irritated. Consider the following signs you might have a pinched nerve.

Do You Have Radiating Pain?

Nerve signals can travel from your neck or back to other locations. For instance, pain felt in your shoulders or arms may actually be coming from a herniated disc.

Does Movement Affect Your Pain?

Whether you have narrow spaces along your spinal canal (spinal stenosis) or a bony growth, movement tends to affect nerves that are being pinched. A telltale sign of a pinched nerve is pain that seems to go away when shifting positions or moving around.

Are You Experiencing Numbness, Tingling, or Burning Sensations?

A pinched nerve sometimes causes pain that’s experienced as tingling, or “pins and needles” sensations. You may also feel a burning sensation or general numbness, which can be in the affected area or in adjacent areas if it’s radiating pain.

Recognizing the warning signals of nerve compression is crucial for timely intervention and management. When a nerve root becomes compressed, it can lead to conditions such as cervical radiculopathy, which is often characterized by pain radiating from the neck down to the arm. This is a clear indication that the body is experiencing distress in the nerve areas.

Another common condition resulting from pinched nerves is carpal tunnel syndrome, where the median nerve is compressed, causing symptoms in the hand and fingers. It is imperative to consult a healthcare provider when experiencing symptoms suggestive of pinched nerves, as early diagnosis and appropriate management can prevent further complications and alleviate the discomfort associated with nerve compression. The cord and other structures in the vicinity also need to be assessed to ensure comprehensive care.

Does Pain Suddenly Appear in the Morning and Go Away Soon After?

Various sleep positions can cause nerve irritation or pinch a nerve from added pressure. If this is the case, you may experience pain that’s worse when you first get up that slowly subsides as you continue with your day.

Most pain from a pinched nerve will go away in a few weeks on its own. If this isn’t happening for you, see your doctor to get a diagnosis. Treatment often includes anti-inflammatory drugs, traction, or specially recommended exercises to strengthen supporting muscles. Though sometimes necessary, the need for minimally invasive spinal surgery is rare.

If it turns out you do need surgery and are looking for a spine surgeon in Orange, CA you can trust, reach out to Dr. Hamid Mir M.D. at (949) 688-1216. Dr. Mir can diagnose the source of your pain and recommend the appropriate treatments. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.