As you probably know, nerves are very important components of the body. They are mainly responsible for transmitting information from the brain to different parts of the body and vice versa. Nerves are spread throughout the entire body. Basically, there are two primary types nerves: motor (efferent) and sensory (afferent). Motor nerves are responsible for transmitting information from the brain to the rest of the body. They assist the brain when it gives out commands to different organs or parts. For instance, the motor nerves carry out movement commands, which causes movement of the body. Sensory nerves, on the other hand, are more focused on the processing of information related to taste, touch, pain, temperature and similar sensations. From time to time, both types of nerves can encounter problems. In essence, pinched nerves in the back indicate that nerve signals have been interrupted, usually causing a sensation of pain to be registered in the brain.
Causes of Pinched Nerves in the Back
The main reason for having a pinched nerve is when the nerves get injured or damaged. Injury or damage may be due to compression or direct pressure, thus affecting the way signals are transmitted. There are also other potential causes for pinched nerves depending on where the nerve is located. For instance, pinched nerves in the lower back or neck can be related to arthritis, spinal stenosis, a herniated disc and bone spurs. Spinal stenosis refers to a condition wherein the spinal canals get narrow which can quite easily lead to nerve compressoin. Once there’s a pinched nerve in the buttocks or lower back area, this can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, eventually causing sciatica.
The symptoms of a pinched nerve condition vary depending on the type of nerve affected. Nerves have different roles so the way they are affected can also vary. Nonetheless, here are some of the common indicators that there’s a pinched nerve somewhere:
- radiating pain
- tingling sensation as if pins or needles are poking at different areas of the body
- weakness or atrophy along some known nerve paths or muscles
- finger pain and difficulty using the thumb, middle, and index fingers
- a pinched nerve in the neck often causes stiffness and pain that extends down to the arms
- a pinched nerve in the lower back causes extreme back pain and extends to the buttocks area, the thighs, legs and even to the feet
When unusual pain is coursing through the body then it’s time to consult a doctor. Doctors can usually determine which nerves are affected and how best to treat them.
The kind of treatment to use depends on the recommendations of the doctor as well as the preferences of the patient. In some cases, patients can try out a range of treatments to help relieve discomfort. Included below are some of the most effective options.
Because pinched nerves can arise from extreme pressure or strain, rest is very important. A couple days of rest can often be profoundly helpful. However, prolonged inactivity is also not advised so it’s best for individuals not to rest for too long.
Exercise or Physical Therapy
Exercise can also relieve stress or tension in the nerves. Further, it can also condition the body– particularly the muscles– thus allowing for quicker recovery. The kind of exercise routine relies on the type of nerves affected and the gravity of the situation.
Acupuncture is known for its pain relief effects. More than being a treatment, it’s mainly administered to help relieve pain and allow the patient to manage the condition until it subsides.
Living with pinched nerves in your back can be debilitating and quite challenging to manage effectively. Nerve pain is often considered to be the deepest level of pain in the body, and the one most resistant to any form of treatment. You’ll likely find that a combination of therapeutic approaches works best in treating the condition. Be sure to listen to your body and heed the warnings it is giving you. Pain never develops randomly. If you can learn from the pain instead of just trying to ignore it or push it away, you’ll likely find that the healing process is much faster.