Compressed Nerve – Causes and Treatment

If you’ve ever felt tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in any part of your body for seemingly no apparent reason, you may have suffered from a compressed nerve. Compressed nerves can occur anywhere in the body to practically anybody, and while they rarely cause permanent injury when they occur for short periods of time, they can still be uncomfortable or even debilitatingly painful.

Compressed Nerve - Causes and Treatment

Compressed Nerve Causes

A compressed or pinched nerve can be caused by poor posture that puts pressure on the spine, repetitive motions in the wrist or shoulder, or bone spurs resulting from osteoarthritis. In some cases, the patient is simply genetically predisposed to having conditions that can result in compressed nerves

Diagnosing a compressed nerve typically involves one of several tests. For example, a nerve conduction test involves placing electrodes on the skin and stimulating the nerve with an electric shock. Electromyography is a similar test that involves sticking a needle electrode into the muscle near the compressed nerve and recording electrical activity. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging is used to locate a compressed nerve in the spine.

Compressed Nerve Treatment

In mild cases, a compressed nerve will heal on its own. This is often the case if the compression merely causes an arm or a foot to “fall asleep.” In other cases, your doctor might suggest resting the area affected by the compressed nerve and ceasing all activities that could make the problem worse. You may be required to wear a splint or a brace to immobilize the affected area.

Physical therapy can be helpful in strengthening and stretching the muscles around the compressed nerve to take the pressure off of it. Medications such as ibuoprofen and naproxen can be taken to relieve some of the pain as well. Surgery may be required in severe cases that don’t respond to other types of treatment. The type of surgery that is required will depend on the location of a compressed nerve.

Preventing Compressed Nerves

Even though a compressed nerve can happen to anybody, there are things you can do to avoid this painful problem. First of all, try to maintain good posture. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground, and try to avoid too many repetitive movements. If you have to stay seated at a desk as part of your job, make sure to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch your muscles. Finally, staying in good shape and maintaining a healthy weight will help you avoid a compressed or pinched nerve.

Compressed Nerve – Causes and Treatment
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