Pinched nerves can be a common reason for neck pain, back pain, or hand and upper extremities pain. Luckily, they go away most of the time with rest or conservative treatment. Learn common signs of a pinched nerve and what you should do if you have one.
5 Signs of a Pinched Nerve
You Have a Numbness Sensation or You Feel Pins and Needles
If you have a pinched nerve, you may feel numbness or pins and needles in your arms or legs. If you get this sensation often, and it does not go away, you should seek medical attention.
You Experience Pain and Burning Sensations
A pinched nerve may cause pain and burning sensations that radiate to surrounding areas of the body. For example, a pinched nerve in the lower back may cause pain and burning in the legs.
It May be Difficult to Grip Objects with Your Hands
If you have a pinched nerve in the arm, wrist, or elbow, it may be difficult to grip certain objects. For example, turning a doorknob or opening a jar may become increasingly difficult.
Your Legs Feel Weak
Weakness in the legs can be a sign of a pinched nerve in the back. If you feel weakness accompanied by some of the other symptoms above, there is a good chance that you have a pinched nerve.
Pain That Worsens with Activity
If certain movements worsen any of the symptoms above, you may have a pinched nerve. For example, if you have a pinched nerve in your elbow, you may feel pain when bending your elbow, moving your arms, or moving your wrist.
What Should I Do if I Suspect That I Have a Pinched Nerve?
If you think you may have a pinched nerve, you should seek medical attention. For pinched nerves in the back, seek help from an orthopedic spine specialist. For pinched nerves in the hand and arms, seek help from an orthopedic hand and upper extremities specialist.
What is the Treatment for a Pinched Nerve?
Most of the time, a pinched nerve can be treated by resting and avoiding activity that worsens symptoms. If your pinched nerve is severe and symptoms will not go away, a doctor may recommend the following treatment options:
- Physical therapy