Treatment for pinched nerve involves application of cold and ice packs and use of painkillers. Sleeping in the proper way (on the back) can also help to relieve pain associated with pinched nerve.
We often hear people suffering from pinched nerve. However, what does it really mean? It indicates that the nerve, generally in the neck and the back area is subjected to excessive pressure and is getting compressed. This undue pressure makes the nerve inflamed, resulting in pain. The squeezing of nerve, may be brought about by the nearby tissues such as the bones, muscles and the tendons. The nerves in the back area of our body pass through the spine (stack of bones) and hence are predisposed to this condition.
As we all know, the nerves transmit brain signals and supply sensation to various parts of the body. However, when subjected to excessive pressure, the nerve loses its ability to provide sensation properly. As a result, a feeling of numbness is often experienced in the affected area. Sharp shooting pain from the affected area that usually travels in the downward direction is another symptom of compressed nerve. The pain resembles that of pricking of pins or needles. The pain from a pinched nerve is typically described as a burning sensation that many times restricts movements and affects the daily routine. Pinched nerve in the neck area often brings a tingling sensation in the left arm.
Pain originating from lower back and running all the way down to the leg is an indication of herniated disc. Our spine that supports the back is a stack of bones. In this condition the cartilage (thick fibrous circular tissue) lying between two bones protrudes outwards. The displaced cartilage puts pressure on the nerve running through the spine. This condition usually strikes the lower back area and the pain radiates from the buttocks to the lower part of the body.
An effective way to minimize pain and not allow it to interfere with day-to-day activities involves intake of non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like naproxen and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Basically, these are painkillers that have been helpful to relieve discomfort associated with pinched nerve.
This is yet another back pain pinched nerve treatment that is used when oral medications fail to provide relief. The injections are directly administered at the painful site to ease the discomfort.
Application of ice pack on the affected area causing pain can also provide considerable amount of relief. Moving the ice pack on the affected area in a circular fashion for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day is helpful to reduce the pain.
A hot shower bath can work wonders to alleviate pain that accompanies a pinched nerve. Simply pouring hot water over the affected area promotes blood flow and loosens up the tight muscles that are compressing the nerve.
Taking back or neck treatment from an acupuncturist is an alternative remedy to overcome this discomfort. This traditional Chinese medicine has successfully treated a number of patients suffering from pinched nerve. Acupuncture involves inserting sharp needles on specific regions of the body, in order to improve the pain substantially. According to Chinese philosophy, this procedure promotes proper circulation of vital energy (chi) in the body. The Chinese believed that ailments occur due to unequal distribution of chi.
This is a new innovative treatment in which high energy sound waves, produced by an ultrasound wand, are allowed to enter through the painful site. This stimulates blood circulation and relaxes the surrounding muscles, thus helping to ease the pain.
Certain exercises for the back and neck have proved beneficial to improve flexibility and provide better stability. Basically, these are stretching exercises but one has to consult a well qualified doctor, before incorporating these ‘stretches’ in the daily routine. Read more on pinched nerve exercises.
In order to release excessive pressure on the nerve in the neck area, use of traction is a good option. A neck traction that is available at a medical store is fitted around the neck. The pulling action of the traction stretches the muscles and increases the distance between the bones of the neck. Stretching helps to relax the muscles and reduce the pressure over the nerve.
Surgical procedures for back, or neck pain, are most effective to resolve this issue. However, this form of treatment is recommended only when oral or intravenous medications fail to improve this condition. In most cases, patients respond quite well to surgery. The procedure involves repositioning the tissues (bones, muscles, cartilage) that are putting pressure on the nerve.
As aforementioned, surgery is the last resort and usually not necessary. This is because conservative methods of treatment are effective to relieve undue pressure on the nerve.