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How Do I know If I Have a Pinched Nerve?

Have you been experiencing pain in your legs or back? You may have a pinched nerve. If not treated properly, a pinched nerve can leave you incapacitated.

Bonaventure Ngu, MD, is an experienced orthopedic surgeon at Premier Spine Institute. He and his staff can evaluate your symptoms and create a customized treatment plan to help you feel like yourself again.

What is a pinched nerve?

The term “pinched nerve” generally refers to when a peripheral nerve gets injured in some way. Peripheral nerves start from your brain, go down your spine, and then branch out to the rest of your body. These nerves enable you to move your muscles and respond to positive or negative physical stimuli. If one gets pressed or stretched, the signals sent on it can get hindered or blocked.

Injuries and disease are most often the cause of pinched nerves. These can include herniated discs, bone spurs, arthritis, diabetes, and swollen tendons or ligaments. Furthermore, any condition that puts pressure on your nerves ― such as obesity or pregnancy ― can increase your risk of pinching a nerve.

Common symptoms of pinched nerves

Decreased mobility is a big sign of having a pinched nerve. You may also experience tingling or numbness in your limbs, along with weakened muscles. If it hurts to move at all, you should call Dr. Ngu for an appointment right away.

How to prevent pinching a nerve

Maintaining your overall health is the best way to prevent pinching a nerve. Keep a healthy weight and get plenty of exercise. At work, walk outside or around the office for a few minutes every hour. When you see Dr. Ngu, he can recommend things you can do to stay healthy all year long.

Treating pinched nerves

First, Dr. Ngu will give you a thorough exam and go over your medical history. He may give you anti-inflammatory pain medications to control any pain or swelling. He may also suggest physical therapy. Depending on the severity of your pain, he may suggest steroid injections, which can last up to several months. If a damaged disc is causing your pain, he may replace it with an artificial one.

If you think you may have a pinched nerve, or if you want more information on how to avoid pinching one, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine Institute today.

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