How to Know if You Have a Pinched Nerve



Pay attention to muscle weakness.,
Look for a “pins and needles” sensation.,
Note any sharp, burning, or aching pains.,
Pay attention to any numbness.,
Notice if your symptoms are worse at night.,
See a doctor if your pinched nerve symptoms continue.,
Get a physical exam.,
Undergo some tests.,
Know that if you’re obese, you’re at higher risk.Obesity can predispose people to developing a pinched nerve the excess weight can add pressure to different parts of your body.

Be aware that your sex plays a role, too.,
Think about your lifestyle and recent activities.,
Know that rheumatoid arthritis or wrist arthritis also is a factor.If you have rheumatoid arthritis or wrist arthritis, then this also increases your risk of developing a pinched nerve.,
Consider your family history.,
Take bone spurs into account as well.This condition makes your spine hard and lose its flexibility.,
Consider your posture.

Muscle weakness is a common symptom of a pinched nerve.Pay attention to any changes in your strength to determine if you may have a pinched nerve.

For example, if you have a pinched nerve in your wrist, then it may affect the function of your fingers and thumb and reduce your grip strength.;
, This is technically called “paresthesia.”It’s normally described as a pricking or itching sensation on the skin in the affected area. If you notice any tingling sensations, pain, or weakness in the affected area, then you may have a pinched nerve.

, You may notice pain in one area of your body or pain that radiates from one area of your body.For example, if you have a pinched nerve in your neck, then you may notice a sharp pain in this area only or pain that radiates from this area.

Sharp pain in the lower back may radiate down to the buttocks and legs. Conversely, presence of pain in the upper back can radiate through the shoulders and even to your arms. Bending, straining, and lifting will make the pain worse.

, You may feel a tingling sensation in any part of the body that is affected by the pinched nerve.For example, a pinched nerve in your shoulder may lead to numbness in your shoulder or part of your arm.

, Some people with a pinched nerve have irritating sleep disturbances because their pain gets worse during the night.People with pinched nerves have difficulty finding a good sleeping position because no matter how they lie, they experience pain.

Sleeping on the back or sides may put strain and pressure on the spine and neck, compressing the nerves located in that area and as a result, the pinched nerve worsens.

, If you continue to have symptoms of a pinched nerve for a week or longer, or if your symptoms do not respond to things like taking an over-the-counter pain reliever or using a heating pad, then you should see a doctor. Tell your doctor about your symptoms including when they started and what (if anything) seems to help.Tell your doctor about any recent changes in your physical activity levels and any changes you have noticed in your bowel or bladder habits.Be aware that leaving a pinched nerve untreated may lead to other conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome., Your doctor will examine your body for any signs of a problem. Be sure to point out the areas where you have been having symptoms. For example, if you have been having numbness and tingling in part of your leg, then specify the area of your leg where you have these symptoms.Over time, a pinched nerve may cause swelling, pressure, and scarring, so your doctor may be checking for this. Let your doctor know if you have noticed any of these symptoms., Your doctor may not be able to make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and a physical exam alone. You may have to go for some tests to identify the problem. Some tests your doctor may order include:Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Your doctor may order an MRI to get images of the affected region. An MRI uses powerful magnets and radiowaves to generate images of the inside of your body.
Nerve Conduction Study. For this test, a series of electrodes will be placed on your skin to measure the how your nerves respond when a small electrical current passes through them.
Electromyography (EMG). For this test, your doctor will need to insert a needle into the muscles where your symptoms are located to test their reaction and determine if there has been any nerve damage.
X-ray. Although an x-ray will not show your nerves, it may help your doctor to detect any bone degeneration or changes in your bones due to arthritis.,, Women are at greater risk for a pinched nerve because they are more likely to develop a syndrome called carpal tunnel, a condition of numbness and tingling sensation in the thumb, middle and index finger.This doesn’t affect the back, but it does wreak havoc on the hands and arms.
When women become pregnant and gain a large amount of weight, they are more like to get a pinched nerve., Pinched nerves may also be the result of performing repetitive or strenuous activities. Think about your hobbies, daily activities, and any recent activities that might have contributed to your pinched nerve.For example, a repetitive activity like knitting or typing may lead to a pinched nerve in your wrist. Likewise, a strenuous physical activity like running may lead to a pinched nerve in your hip or back.

, If you have arthritis, be sure to start treatment now to decrease your chances of developing a pinched nerve.

, If a family member has a history of pinched nerves, then you’re at higher risk of getting them. Some people are predisposed to having a pinched nerve because one of their family members or relatives has a history of it. Talk to your family — Does anyone else suffer from having a pinched nerve? Do they know anyone, even distantly related, who does?

If conditions that lead to obesity or arthritis run in your family, you’re more likely to get a pinched nerve as a symptom of these health issues., This, in turn, makes the space for your nerves in the spinal cord narrower, eventually causing a pinched nerve in the back.

Bone spurs generally form where bones meet — that is, your joints. But they can form where the bones meet in your spine, too. Technically, they’re called osteophytes and they’re little bony projections that stick out along the edges of bones.Not great for your nerves at all!

, Poor posture can increase your risk of having a pinched nerve.If you don’t sit or stand correctly, your back may get out of alignment and lead to a pinched nerve.

If you think your posture may be your back pain culprit, consider reading How to Improve Your Posture or How to Improve Posture While Sleeping.

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