When you have a pinched nerve, it can be a lot more difficult to deal with than you will have initially thought. The nerves are important and although we take them for granted, they are vital to our daily life. They send messages to the brain and tell it what we want our body to do. Once the nerve becomes compressed, the signal is broken, and the message cannot get through. It can be painful when it happens and there can also be a sensation of numbness or tingling. When this happens, you are considered to have a pinched nerve. A back and spine doctor will be able to give all the advice you need and let you know if you need to look elsewhere for treatment.
Another way to describe a pinched nerve is a radiculopathy and one of the better-known ones is sciatica. This is when it is the sciatic nerve that is being compressed and as this nerve affects the legs and feet, mobility is going to be a problem. Back sciatica is a condition that should be dealt with as soon as you become aware of it.
Causes and Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve
It will depend on the nerve that is compressed to a large degree. If it is a nerve in the upper part of the spine – around the neck – then it is the arms that are going to be affected. If it is lower down the spine, then it will affect the hips all the way down to the feet. There can be times when it will be both and if this happens, you will find that mobility is very difficult. It will not be possible to live a normal life until it has been dealt with.
The nerves of the spine move outwards through foramen. These are small openings in the bone and are close to other parts of the spine. It is for this reason that there are risks when the area is damaged. There are a lot of conditions that will lead to the nerve becoming pinched.
- Bulging disc
- Herniated disc
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Degenerative disc disorder
When you have this type of pain it will soon become clear that it is not going to heal on its own. There will have to be medical intervention and I like to know that there is a lower back doctor near me. As the pain can make travel difficult, having someone near by is going to save a lot of trouble.
Check that the doctor is available for emergency appointments, or at least has an arrangement with a doctor who does. It is no use having a doctor on the next block if you are going to have to wait a week or more for an appointment when you most need it. It is hard to explain how bad the pain can be unless you have actually experienced it.
There are times when you have to find a specialist who will be able to give relieve as soon as possible. As the lower back is the part that acts as support for the upper body, and pain or discomfort and make everyday living difficult? Walking is controlled by it and when walking is painful, you can find that your day to day activities are severely limited.
It tends to be a lot of the time it is an actual injury that begins the problem. Inflammation occurs, but when this happens it is extremely painful. Due to the way that nerves overlap, it can be hard for the brain to work out what is damaged and what needs to be healed. The way that you will know what has happened will be based on the amount of time that it takes for the pain to subside.
Types of Pain with Back Sciatica
It is hard to fully determine the cause as the type of pain felt can vary. This is both when it comes to intensity as well the type. Some will find that their pain is dull and comes across as an ache more often than not felt in the lower part of the back. Others find that for them it is a burning sensation that is felt. It is not limited to the one area, but is sometimes in the lower back, but then moves to the back of the thighs. On other occasions it is felt lower down the body with the feet and lower part of the legs feel the pain. As previously mentioned, when tingling sensations or numbness is felt, this is referred to sciatica.
Spasms can be one of the most problematic side effects of back pain. If you are carrying something it can be broken, or further injury can be sustained if it is a hot drink that is involved. Work can be affected if there is a sedentary job as sitting for a long time can lead to pain, but then so can large periods of standing. Mobility is affected in all ways, as it can be painful to try and stand up straight and keep good posture. Even trying to sit after standing for some time or standing after sitting can be painful and undignified. At times like this it can be hard to realize that things can get better and there are ways to deal with and sometimes even conquer the pain. Having a back-pain doctor near at hand will be a great way to get speedy treatment and not have to go through days of discomfort and stress trying to get an appointment.
Testing for a Pinched Nerve
Once the doctor has decided that you could have a pinched nerve, they will want to carry out tests to make sure that their diagnosis is correct. Palpation is the first test they will turn to. This is a hands-on examination whereby the lower back pain treatment doctor will run their hands over the area where the pain is being felt. The idea is that they will be checking to see if there is a muscle that has been damaged. There is the possibility that it could be that, or a strained ligament. They will also ask for details of how long the pain has been felt, when it started, and how intense it is. Once they have been able to eliminate certain issues, then they can start finding out what the problem is and deciding how to treat it.
The following tests are a lot more detailed and will give the doctors all the answers they need.
- Nerve conduction study – patches are placed on the skin and an electric pulse is sent through them. Depending on the reaction, there will be confirmation of nerve problems, or they will have been discounted, and further tests will be carried out to get to the bottom of the problem.
- MRI scan – Here the doctor will get a full body image and can see inside the body. The spine will be seen and there could be signs there that it is a trapped nerve that is causing the pain.
- Electromyography. Thin needles will be put into the muscles and the responses monitored when movement is made. If this is successful it will allow the medical professional to pinpoint a specific set of muscles.
Treating the Pinched Nerve
There rarely has to be a great deal of drastic treatment when a pinched nerve has been diagnosed. It will be pain relief in the form of medication, some changes to lifestyle, some exercising and if it is considered appropriate, physical therapy from a professional. Spine pain treatment can be as varied as it is effective, and if the treatment does not seem to be working, do not hesitate to tell the low back pain doctor and ask them to change it for you.
The problems really start when the pain is intense, or prolonged practices that are mentioned do not work. There may be the need for surgery, but there are very few occasions when this will be the first or even second choice of treatment. Even surgery will be as minimally invasive as possible. When discussions are being made about your treatment, check your insurance policy. Not all treatments will be covered even if the condition itself is.
It is hard to get a doctor to give a definitive answer as to how long it will take for a herniated disc back pain to subside. It is not helped when various terms are used for what seems to be very similar conditions. They can be referred to as: –
- Slipped disc
- Disc disease
- Ruptured disc,
- Torn disc
- Collapsed disc
Some sound a lot worse then others, but they cover the same condition, and all should be taken seriously. As a patient, you will have to get past this confusion and concentrate on the diagnosis and learn what will happen in the future. What the different names really do are help the doctor decide what has caused it and set them on the path to treatment.
If it is not a pinched nerve that is the problem, then it will be disc pain, and these are the two conditions that treatment will be aimed at improving. It is best to remember that the term used is for the advantage of the doctor and the treatment they decide is right is for the advantage of the patient.
Spine Pain Treatment
When there is spine pain, there are various treatments that can be tried. Some may be the same as for sciatica, but others may be a lead up to more recognized treatment.
- Pills – painkillers can work for a while but there are clear issues if they are taken for too long. Addiction can happen quite quickly and be hard to break.
- Check that the mattress you sleep on is fit for purpose.
- Check your shoes – often the way we walk can affect our backs, and if it is this that is the cause, then a change of footwear is in order.
- While standing may be painful, it is going to help. If you get the chance to stand a little, the pressure should come of the disc and the pain will be under control for a while.
- Massage and acupuncture is a couple of procedures that have proved beneficial for many sufferers. As they are non-invasive, there is no need for a hospital stay.
When any home remedies may have been tried, you need to seek out a Doctor of Physical Therapy. It should be clear by now that things are more serious than you thought, and the back should be protected as much as possible. There is the risk that the pinched nerve in the neck can become permanent, and you want to do all that you can do stop this happening. New York pain care will make sure that you are not too badly affected, and doctors will be well trained in how to help.
With the agreement of the doctor there are certain gently exercises that can relieve some of the pressure and pain. Gently bending or turning the head, you should roll the shoulders between 5 and 10 times. If there is any pressure, then stop and don’t risk making the issue worse. Don’t hold the position at any time, as this could put undue pressure on the nerve, and not only could the pain become worse, but there could be more serious damage sustained.
It is not going to be difficult to get information about all aspects of back pain. You will be able to read up on symptoms and treatments and more importantly how to deal with it. Doctors will be listed online and will be disclosing details of what services they can offer. The one thing they will all agree on is the fact that the back and spine needs to be dealt with gently. The slightest amount of jarring can make a normal issue both painful and possibly dangerous.