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How Do I Know If I Have a Pinched Nerve?

pinched-nerveDo you think you might have a pinched nerve? Learn about the nature of this condition, common symptoms, and diagnosis.

Quick overview of a pinched nerve

Here are a few quick facts on pinched nerves:

·      When a nerve is pinched, it is also called nerve compression or nerve entrapment.

·      When a nerve is pinched, it obstructs the body’s ability to transmit electrical communication back-and-forth with the brain.

·      Common treatments for a pinched nerve include rest, ice, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.

·      This condition can lead to muscular atrophy and permanent damage to the nervous system.

Understanding nerve compression

Our nerves are essentially like an electrical network that extends to all parts of the body, allowing signals passage to and from the brain:

·      Motor nerves, aka efferent nerves, transmit messages coming from the brain so that the body’s control center is able to properly manage the other organs, notes osteopathic physician Jason C. Eck, DO. “For example, these commands are sent to the muscles causing them to contract and move,” he says, “or to the heart to either beat faster or slower.”

·      Sensory nerves, aka afferent nerves, transmit messages to the brain – such as pain, touch, and temperature – from all other body locations.

The signals are electrochemical in nature. The electrochemical information is unable to reach its destination correctly when nerve pinching occurs, somewhat like a kink in a garden hose.

Symptoms of nerve entrapment

How can you tell if you are suffering from a pinched nerve? Although this condition should always be properly diagnosed by a doctor, patients often experience:

·      pain

·      lack of feeling

·      a tingling sensation

·      reduction of strength in the impacted nerve’s vicinity.

How diagnosis works

In order to determine if your medical condition is in fact a compressed nerve, the doctor will talk to you about the symptoms you have been feeling. They may be interested in your medical history and employment, since that can help to narrow down which nerves are under duress.

A physical examination is also performed, explains Dr. Eck. “This may include testing the patient's strength, sensation, and muscle tone in specific muscles,” he says. “Depending on the results of the medical history and the physical examination, the patient may need additional tests.”

Conscientious treatment

Are you in pain and think you might be suffering from a pinched or entrapped nerve? At Envista Medical, we’ve come to know our patients’ pain like it’s our own during our 30+ years in practice.