Nerve compression: causes, symptoms and treatment









In this article

Nerve compression: causes, symptoms and treatment




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A pinched nerve is a condition in which a nerve is severely compressed by surrounding tissues, such as bone, cartilage, muscle, or tendon. This pressure can make you feel pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness. Nerve compression can occur anywhere in the body, but common sites include the neck, spine, wrist, or elbow. With rest and pain relievers, most people recover within a few days or weeks.





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symptoms





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Because the nerve is compressed somewhere in the body, it is no longer able to properly transmit signals through the body. The following symptoms are a consequence of this:
  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
  • Sharp, aching, or burning pain that may spread
  • tingling (paresthesia)
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Often feeling that a foot or hand has “grown”

Symptoms of pinched nerves can be exacerbated during sleep.

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the reasons





Nerve compression is caused by excessive pressure (pressure) on the nerve from surrounding tissues. Sometimes this tissue is bone or cartilage. In other cases, muscles or tendons are responsible for putting pressure on the nerve. In carpal tunnel syndrome, this entrapment occurs through various tissues.
There are a number of conditions in which tissue can put pressure on a nerve or nerves, including:
  • infection
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or wrist arthritis
  • Stress due to repetitive work
  • Hobbies or sports activities
  • obesity

If the nerve is compressed only briefly, there is usually no permanent damage. Once the pressure is released, the nerve returns to its normal function. However, if the pressure persists, there is a risk of chronic pain and permanent nerve damage.

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Treatment and prevention





You can prevent a pinched nerve by taking a few simple actions:
  • Pay attention to good posture: don’t cross your legs and don’t stay in the same position for too long.
  • Incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your training program.
  • Limit repetitive activities and take frequent breaks when you have to perform repetitive motions.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

See your doctor if symptoms persist for several days and do not improve with self-care measures, such as rest and pain relievers. Sometimes surgery is necessary to relieve pinched nerve pain.

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Last update: October 2022

















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