Pinched Nerve - Causes

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What causes a pinched nerve?

Pressure on a peripheral nerve can irritate the nerve itself, its protective covering (myelin sheath), or both. When this occurs, the nerve is unable to conduct sensory impulses to the brain appropriately, leading to a sense of numbness. This inflammation associated with the damage or injury can also cause pain or paresthesia (a tingling or prickling sensation) signals to be sent to the brain. In its early stages, many people may describe this sensation as a body part that has "fallen asleep." However, if nerve inflammation persists, this sensation persists rather than resolving after a few minutes.

If the nerve is compressed for a short amount of time, it is often able to repair itself but it may take several weeks or months for the symptoms to fully resolve. However, if the compression remains present for a long time, permanent nerve injury may occur.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: garybegleman, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 12

I was wounded on the freeway by truck going approximately 30 mph.

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Comment from: Jan, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I got into accident 3 months back, a car rear-ended me. Since then, I been having a tremendous pain in my upper neck and lower back. I was in pain with pins and needles with my lower and upper back. Numbness and tingling with my arms and legs. I have an intense pain in the right lower back, from the buttocks down through my knee. It feels like electrical sensation running and poking my legs, arms and back. I have also an intense headache, my head was pounding in pain, from upper neck all the way through my spine that will cause me having difficulty sleeping at night.

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