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Pinched Nerves

Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group

Neurological Surgery located in Birmingham, AL

Pinched nerves are responsible for many painful conditions, including sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have a painful pinched nerve that isn’t responding to conservative treatments, the team of expert spinal surgeons at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group in Birmingham, Alabama, can help. They offer highly advanced minimally invasive surgery using major technologies like METRx® System instruments and Mazor robotic-assisted surgeries to treat pinched nerves. Call Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group today to find out more.

Pinched Nerves Q & A

What are pinched nerves?

Pinched nerves are nerves that are coming under pressure from bone or tissue nearby, causing pain and other unpleasant symptoms.

Many conditions involve pinched nerves. A pinched median nerve in your wrist causes carpal tunnel syndrome, which can make your wrist ache, your hand and arm go numb -- especially at night -- and make it hard to grip anything. Sciatica, which causes low back and leg pain, arises when the sciatic nerve comes under pressure.

Pinched nerves are a problem you can experience all over your body, but they’re particularly common in the spine. Multiple nerves run down your spinal cord, inside the vertebrae. These nerves branch off through gaps in the vertebrae and spread to every part of your body.

Any pressure on the nerves near your spinal cord can cause symptoms in your arms and legs or other parts of your body as well. These symptoms can include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced function
  • Paralysis

Health professionals refer to pinched nerves in the spine as radiculopathy. Cervical radiculopathy would, therefore, be a pinched nerve in your neck, and lumbar radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in your lower back.

Accidents and sports injuries can cause pinched nerves, which could result in acute symptoms. Repetitive strain, obesity, and degenerative diseases like arthritis and spinal stenosis might cause symptoms that develop more slowly. 

How is the cause of pinched nerves diagnosed?

The team at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group diagnoses pinched nerves using one or a combination of methods that include:

  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • High-resolution ultrasound

Your provider at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group uses these tools to supplement their knowledge and experience, after conducting a physical exam and discussing your symptoms.

What treatments are there for pinched nerves?

Initial treatment approaches for pinched nerves include:

  • Rest
  • Activity modification
  • Wearing a splint or brace
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections

Conservative treatments can often reduce inflammation, and thus relieve your symptoms.

Surgical options to relieve pinched nerves might be necessary for some patients. Options depend on which nerve is involved. For carpal tunnel syndrome, you might need carpal tunnel release surgery, while a herniated cervical disc might require an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or an artificial disc replacement.

Call Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group today to find out more about treatment for pinched nerves.