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Can Pinched Nerves Be Permanent?

Can Pinched Nerves Be Permanent?

Pinched nerves can cause pain and numbness in the back and neck, as well as other parts of the body. If you’re suffering from a pinched nerve, you may be wondering when it will get better. And what if it doesn’t get better? Can a pinched nerve become permanent?

The answer is most of the time a pinched nerve will get better with rest and over-the-counter medications. It can, however, become a chronic condition, so you should see a doctor if you don’t see improvement within a few days.

How does a nerve get pinched?

We have nerves all over our body to transmit sensations to our brains. Nerves in our hands, for instance, let us know if we touch a hot stove so we can immediately avoid getting burned. We run into problems when tissue (such as bone, muscle, cartilage, or tendon) that surrounds a nerve starts pressing it.

When you have a herniated disc in the back, for instance, the inner contents of the disc can push out and irritate the nearby nerves. Or bone spurs may press nerves in the spine. Those are just a couple of examples of problems that could result in a pinched nerve.

What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve?

Common symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

  • Pain that may radiate away from the affected nerve. For instance, a pinched nerve in the lumbar spine (lower back) may be felt in the buttocks, legs, and feet. A pinched nerve in the cervical spine (neck) can cause pain or numbness in the shoulders, arms, and hands.
  • A tingling “pins and needles” sensation.
  • Numbness in the affected area.
  • Weakness in the affected area. 

More rarely, a pinched nerve may cause loss of bladder or bowel control. This is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

How do you treat a pinched nerve?

The first thing to try is rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin or ibuprofen), and heat or ice treatments. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy or steroid injections. 

If none of these treatments succeeds, you may need surgery to remove whatever is pressing on the nerve and prevent permanent injury.

If you have a pinched nerve, we’d like to help you get relief. For more information on the best treatment for pinched nerves or to make an appointment with the doctors at NeuroMicroSpine please call (850) 934-7545 or click here to request an appointment. We hope to see you soon!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.