A pinched nerve is a common health complaint in the US. It affects roughly 85 out of 100,000 people in the country alone. Most of the time, only older folks experience this problem. However, it can also happen in younger individuals who have suffered from injuries due to accidents or sports-related activities. It can cause various effects that could impact your daily activities.
What Does a Pinched Nerve Feel Like?
So, how can you determine if you have a pinched nerve? What are the symptoms? What does a pinched nerve feel like?
Sadly, a lot of people aren’t aware that they have a pinched or compressed nerve. That’s because one can easily dismiss the symptoms as typical signs of aging. However, when the accompanying symptoms begin making a noticeable impact on your quality of life or if you haven’t reached old age, then you may need to seek help.
Below are the key symptoms of a pinched nerve that you might have:
- Decreased sensation or numbness in the affected area
- Parathesis or “pins and needles” sensation
- Frequent loss of sensation on your hands or feet
- Sharp or searing pain that radiates outside the affected area
Nerve pinching or compression can occur on any part of the spine. Often, when it happens, the key affected areas would be those innervated by the compressed or pinched nerve fiber. If you were diagnosed with a pinched nerve in neck and shoulder, you should expect to notice pain or numbing sensation along the neck, shoulders, and other proximal body parts.
What Causes Nerve Pinching?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, nerve pinching occurs along the spine. In most cases, it occurs among aging folks. That’s because, over time, as we age, the structural integrity of the spinal column also changes.
For example, the cartilaginous material protecting each vertebral bone eventually breaks down, causing herniation or bulging. When this happens, the nucleus, the material found inside the disc, compresses the nerve roots near the vertebral bone. As a result, you may begin experiencing symptoms of a pinched nerve.
Additionally, you can suffer from such a condition if nearby bones, ligaments, and tendons put undue mechanical stress on the nerve roots. This can happen due to repetitive motions when you undergo physical training. Alternatively, it could also occur when you try holding your body in the same position over a long period, such as when you keep your elbow bent while sleeping.
Lastly, besides herniated discs, nerve pinching can also result from an accident or injury. Such events could cause spinal misalignment that could affect the nerves innervating the muscles near the affected part.
Is a Pinched Nerve Dangerous?
Generally, a pinched nerve doesn’t pose serious threats. Sometimes, the pain fades away after a while. However, if you’re like most patients, you may need a bit of help to manage the pain and possibly, address the condition’s root cause. Correcting the source of the problem through upper cervical care remedies can also prevent unnecessary fluid buildup that could break down the protective layer of your nerves.
If the pain persists for days or worsens even with proper care, you should seek medical attention. This way, you get to learn the best course of action to take.
Want to know more about a pinched nerve in the neck and shoulder and the symptoms of a pinched nerve? Check out our blog posts below!