Think You May Have a Pinched Nerve? 8 Common Warning Signs
According to the National Center for Health Statistic, more than 20 percent of American adults struggled with chronic pain in 2019. More than seven percent of U.S. adults struggled with high-impact chronic pain, which limited their daily activities.
Pain could be the result of many different kinds of health issues. A pinched nerve can often be the cause of your pain.
This guide will discuss some of the other signs to look for if you think you have a pinched nerve. Keep reading to learn what they are.
1. A Painful or Burning Sensation Down Your Leg
Sciatica is the result of a pinched nerve in your lower back. The sciatic nerve extends from your lower back down to your leg. When this nerve is pinched, you’ll experience pain that travels down your leg.
When this nerve is pinched, you’ll experience a burning sensation that travels through your lower back and buttocks and down through your leg too.
If this is something you’re experiencing, you can be sure it’s a pinched nerve. You need to see a doctor right away.
2. If You’re Experiencing Paresthesia
Paresthesia is another common sign of a pinched nerve. In layman’s terms, this is the sensation of pins and needles in your arms or legs.
When you fall asleep on top of your arm, blood flow is blocked from reaching your nerves. If you wake up with pins and needles in your arm, this is a normal sensation. The feeling will subside after a few minutes.
A compressed nerve leaves you feeling pins and needles even when you don’t fall asleep in an awkward position.
3. Pain From Your Neck to Your Arm
A compressed nerve in your cervical spine, or your neck, will cause discomfort through your neck and arm. This nerve pathway can travel through your shoulders and the upper part of your back as well.
If you feel pain extending through those areas, you likely have a pinched nerve in your shoulder or neck. Living with this pain can limit your daily activities. When this starts to occur, consider seeking treatment.
4. Weak Muscles
Pinched nerves can also lead to muscle weakness. Motor nerves are what help you move your body. When one of these nerves is compressed, your muscles will not work like they use to.
Since the motor nerve can’t send the proper message to your brain, your muscles won’t be able to summon up the strength they once had.
Walking requires the nerves in your legs to send signals to your brain. When you have a pinched nerve in your leg, the signal has a hard time reaching your brain. You’ll start feeling weakness in your legs when this occurs.
5. Poor Grip Strength
Other pinched nerves symptoms include poor grip strength. The nerves in your hands are what help you hold things. They tell your muscles how much strength you’ll need to grab something.
When you have a comprised nerve in your hand, you’ll lose that ability until the issue is fixed. When you experience a reduced grip strength because of a pinched nerve, you’ll have difficulty with common motor tasks like writing.
If you have a hard time holding a pen to paper, or your fingers feel weak when you’re typing at a keyboard, you might be dealing with a pinched nerve.
6. Numbness in One or More Limbs
Numbness is a common sign of a pinched nerve. This often comes hand-in-hand with weakness and the pins and needles sensation.
Numbness in one of your limbs might not feel as uncomfortable as pain or weakness, but it should still be taken seriously and checked out by a doctor. Numbness can prevent you from noticing when you’ve experienced a cut and can increase your risk of infection.
7. Bladder or Bowel Problems
Bladder or bowel issues are often related to digestive system conditions, but they can also be caused by a pinched nerve. Exploring all possible causes is key to finding the issues and determining the right treatment plan.
The nerves in your back control your bladder and bowel movements. When you have a compressed nerve in your lower back, you might struggle to control your bowel movements or bladder.
8. Changing Pain
Pain can change as you move for a variety of reasons. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have a pinched nerve. Certain changes in pain, however, do make the likelihood of a pinched nerve greater.
If you’re struggling with a pinched nerve in your lower back, the pain you feel can get better when you lean forward or lay on your back. Laying on your side can increase the pain and make it difficult to sleep at night.
Radiculopathy is another way to describe a pinched nerve in your spin. What is radiculopathy treatment, however? It’s a form of pinched nerve treatment to help relieve any discomfort or pain you’re feeling.
Noninvasive treatments are always used first, and they help relieve symptoms in the majority of cases. Anti-inflammatory medications can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. Many people also take over-the-counter pain medications.
Physical therapy is another common treatment for a pinched nerve. The therapist will guide you through stretches and exercises to help relieve discomfort.
Ice and heat can reduce pain caused by your pinched nerve. You can also try modifying the way you sleep to alleviate your pain.
Spinal injections can be used if other treatment options have proved ineffective. Surgery is rare but is used as a final resort when all other treatments haven’t lead to improvement.
The Signs of a Pinched Nerve Explained
Many common signs might indicate you have a pinched nerve. Reach out to a medical professional if you’re experiencing muscle weakness or numbness, they’ll offer you different treatment options to relieve your symptoms.
Check out the other health blogs on our site to learn more.