If something applies excessive pressure on the nerve, including muscles, bone spurs, cartilage, muscles, or tendons, it affects the nerve’s function, triggering various unpleasant symptoms. Once this issue occurs, the nerve is deemed as “pinched”. Pinched nerves are prevalent, affecting thousands of American adults annually. Although a Roswell pinched nerve can develop at any age, it is more prevalent in aging persons because of arthritis and degenerative disc conditions in the spine. A pinched nerve has similar symptoms regardless of where within the body it is located. Here are the common warning signs to watch out for.
1. Burning Sensations or Pain Radiating Down Your Leg
Sciatica is a prevalent form of low back pain that emerges once the sciatic nerve gets compressed or pinched at the lumbar spine. The branches of your sciatic nerve extend from the lumbar spine, through the buttock, and down to each leg. Therefore, if a nerve gets irritated or compressed, you might feel dull aching, burning sensations, or discomfort along the nerve’s pathway.
2. Leg Weakness
When walking or using your legs in other means, the nerves in the legs send signals to the brain, making your muscles react in certain ways. If the sciatic nerve or other nerves in the legs get pinched, it could disrupt those signals. For this reason, you may experience leg weakness or difficulty performing some movements, even as simple as walking.
Nerve compression typically interrupts communication between the nerves in your arms, legs, and other body areas. Therefore, you are incapable of feeling pain in these areas. You might experience numbness in the affected parts or a total lack of sensation, akin to when you lie with your arm in an unnatural position.
4. Pins and Needles Sensations
As with numbness, pin and needle sensations develop once a nerve is irritated or compressed. The signals between the brain and nerve are not totally blocked, but they are disrupted just enough to trigger annoying symptoms. These prickly sensations are prevalent early warning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.
5. Bladder or Bowel Incontinence
Nerves in your back do not simply allow you to move your feet and legs. These nerves also control your bowel and bladder function. If a nerve in the lower back gets seriously compressed, you may lack bowel movements or leak urine.
6. Pain That Shifts Once You Switch Position
It is not unusual for pain to worsen or lessen once you switch your position, but how it shifts varies based on what is triggering the pain. For example, for most people with sciatica, pain lessens when leaning forward while seated or lying flat on your back. However, lying on the side often worsens the pain, which explains why sleeping is difficult when you have a pinched nerve.
Pinched nerves are not quite common, but they cause significant discomfort once they develop. Fortunately, finding relief is easy. Occasionally, pinched nerves are treatable with conservative procedures and rest. However, for people experiencing chronic pain, unaddressed pinched nerves could raise your likelihood of lasting nerve damage. As such, it is important to seek specialist care if you have a pinched nerve. Your doctor will identify the location and severity of your pinched nerve before developing a care plan. If the condition is too severe, your doctor may suggest surgery.