Pinched Nerve

  • Medical Author:
    Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

    Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

  • Medical Editor: Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Quick GuideNerve Pain: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Nerve Pain: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

What is the treatment for a pinched nerve?

The treatment of a pinched nerve depends upon the location and the cause. Resting the affected area is often very effective, especially in cases of injury caused by repetitive activities. Physical therapy is frequently beneficial when a pinched nerve is caused by problems in the neck or low back. Exercises may strengthen the back or core muscles and decrease or eliminate pressure on a nerve root. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen may be helpful. Injections of corticosteroids (an anti-inflammatory medication) may also be beneficial for many types of pinched nerves.

For cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, splinting or bracing the wrist is often used. In cases of ulnar neuropathy or common peroneal neuropathy, learning to change body positions may be required to achieve the best outcome.

Weight loss can be of benefit for many types of pinched nerves.

Surgery may be required to release pressure on the nerve if it fails to respond to medication, splinting, physical therapy, or injections. The specific type of surgery depends upon the nerve involved. However, the goal of the surgery is the same, to eliminate or relieve the pressure on the affected nerve. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 4/30/2015
References
Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

"NINDS Pinched Nerve Information Page." National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 27 Sept. 2011.

Vinik, A., et al. "Focal entrapment neuropathies in diabetes." Diabetes Care 27.7 (2004): 1783-1788.

Werner, R. A., et al. "Influence of body mass index and work activity on the prevalence of median mononeuropathy at the wrist." Occupational and Environmental Medicine 54.4 (1997): 268-271.



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