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Compressed or Pinched Nerve

What happens most of the time is that nerves are compressed or pinched due to

  • swelling in the area
  • structures displaced and pressing onto the nerve

The most common example is the sciatica nerve being pinched due to herniated / slipped spinal disc, causing a symptom called sciatica.

Basically the nerve is trapped, pinched or compressed, causing nerve irritation, damage and nerve-relatd pains and symptoms

Pinched Nerve in Lower Back

In the examples of

compresses the sciatic nerve in your lower back, you may experience leg pain (yeah, even though the original problem is from the lower back).

The symptom is called sciatica#content_53112636 (because the sciatic nerve was compressed, leading to sciatic-nerve related nerve issues, called sciatica).

Any forms of compression on the nerve endings inside your spinal column can compromise nerve space and cause pinched nerves...leading to

  • nerve pain
  • sensory loss
  • muscle weakness
  • altered reflexes

Pinched Nerve in your Neck

Our nerves are found all over our body, so pinched nerves can unfortunately also happen in any part of the body other than the lower back.

The second most common nerves that are compressed or pinched are the nerves in the neck. 

A pinched nerve in the neck can cause

  • altered sensations down the hand, such as tingling, numbness, cold, pain
  • weakness
  • decreased reflexes

This is usually called cervical radiculopathy.

Also, the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck can be very similar to the common arm conditions such as

That's why we need to do differential diagnosis, moreso when one of these conditions are present and physio treatments seem ineffective. 

Peripheral Pinched Nerves

Nerve compression or pinching can happen at any part of your body (because nerves are found everywhere in the body), but other than the back and neck, the most common location of pinched nerves are the tight limited spaces around the nerves.

Such as tunnels which nerve passes through.

Such as the carpal tunnel (hence the name, carpal tunnel syndrome) and guyon's canal (and arising to guyon canal syndrome).

How do you diagnose a Pinched Nerve?

We start first by listening to the symptoms you describe to us, followed by specific nerve tests.

Whenever a nerve gets compressed or pinched, the compressed nerve will communicate and transmit the pain signals through the spinal cord to the brain.

We may recommend further diagnostic tests such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or nerve conduction testing, to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity of the nerve pinch.

What are the Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve?

There are different severity of pinched or compressed nerve, from mild to severe. 

These are the common pinched nerve symptoms:

  1. nerve pain
  2. altered sensation (such as pins and needles, tingling or numbness)
  3. muscle weakness
  4. diminished reflexes and 
  5. loss of bladder or bowel function. 

Please seek urgent medical attention if you experience these symptoms as the longer the nerve remains pinched or compressed, the worse the outcome may be.

Contact your doctor or our physiotherapist immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.