Physical Therapy for a Pinched Nerve
Have you been experiencing loss of sensations and changes in reflexes? If you have, the chances are that you have a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve occurs when abnormal pressure is applied on one part of your nerve by the surrounding tendons, bones, muscles, cartilage, or discs. The pinched nerve can hinder normal functioning, leading to the loss of sensations and changes in reflexes. Popular ways to treat a pinched nerve include sleep and rest, posture change, ergonomic workstation, and pain-relieving medication.
However, physical therapy is the best treatment for a pinched nerve as it is quick, efficient, and safe. This is your physical therapy guide for a pinched nerve.
How Does a Pinched Nerve Occur?
A pinched or compressed nerve usually occurs when abnormal pressure or compression is applied to a nerve by surrounding discs, tendons, bones, muscles, or cartilage. You are likely to experience numbness, pain, and tingling sensations when it occurs. An excellent example of a pinched nerve is carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when too much pressure is applied to the carpal tunnel median nerve.
A pinched nerve can occur due to various causes like:
- Wrist arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Repetitive stress
Pinched Nerve Risk Factors
Women are at a greater risk of experiencing a pinched nerve since they have a smaller carpal tunnel than men. Individuals who have experienced bone spurs are also likely to experience a pinched nerve. Similarly, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease, and obesity are likely to have a pinched nerve at some point. Prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, and overuse also place you at risk of developing a pinched nerve.
Common Pinched Nerve Symptoms
Symptoms vary depending on the amount of applied pressure and the affected area. However, you are likely to experience decreased sensations and sharp pain around the affected area after getting a pinched nerve. These are the common symptoms of a pinched nerve:
- Aching pain around the affected area
- The pain radiates outwards
- Tingling sensations
- Muscle weakness around the affected area, especially after certain activities
The Best Treatment for a Pinched Nerve
Although there are many treatments for a pinched nerve, physical therapy might be the best option since it is fast and efficient. Once you schedule your appointment with a certified and licensed doctor, the doctor will conduct a comprehensive evaluation, including checking your medical history and your symptoms. After that, the doctor will perform tests to assess your sensation, muscle strength, and movements.
In addition, the doctor might ask for imaging tests like CAT or MRI to check for bone spurs. From there, the doctor can create a customized treatment plan for you based on your symptoms and preferences.
Some treatments the physical doctor might recommend include:
- Adequate rest and icing
- Manual therapy
- Range of motion exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Patient education
- Functional training
Get Reliable Physical Therapy for a Pinched Nerve Near You
A pinched nerve can be uncomfortable and alter your day-to-day activities. Fortunately, the multidisciplinary team at La Clínica is ready to help. Please call us right away for a free injury screening.