How to Diagnose a Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve is a medical phrase that describes nerve damage or injury produced by compression, constriction or stretching. To identify the source of the pinched nerve, your clinician will physically check the neck, arms, shoulders, wrist, and hands. They will examine for muscular weakness, evaluate changes in reflexes and inquire about your varied symptoms. On the day of the evaluation, your anesthesiologist Houston will oversee the administration of medication to ensure that you are not in pain. Here are various tests you may undergo:

1.      X-ray: An X-ray can reveal narrowing and shifting spinal cord alignment and fractures.

2.      CT scan: A CT scan provides 3D pictures and greater information about the spine than an X-ray.

3.      Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI can reveal whether nerve compression is caused by soft tissue injury or spinal cord damage.

4.      Electromyography (EMG): Electrical impulses detected by an EMG, together with nerve conduction examinations, can assist in establishing if a nerve is functioning normally. This lets your physician detect if symptoms are caused by strain on spinal nerve roots or if another disorder like diabetes causes nerve injury.

An overview of a pinched nerve

A pinched nerve in your neck is referred to as cervical radiculopathy. This type develops when your nerve root becomes pinched or irritated, even for a brief moment. A nerve root is a region where a nerve leaves the spinal cord and exits between two vertebrae (spinal bones). There are eight nerve roots in the neck. They regulate muscles and impact felt in various upper body and arm areas. While a pinched nerve isn’t life-threatening, it can cause issues with daily living and potentially irreversible nerve damage. It’s vital to see a specialist for a correct diagnosis.

How prevalent is a pinched nerve?

Pinched nerves are common; around 85 out of every 100,000 people in the United States suffer from them yearly. Pinched nerves can occur at any age, although those aged 50 and older are more prone to have them because of arthritis and degeneration in the spine and other regions of the body.

Causes of pinched nerves

There are two basic reasons for a pinched nerve in the neck. They both have to do with spinal discs. Spinal discs are “cushions” between the vertebrae of the spine and enable the spine to bend and flex. The primary reason is degenerative disc disease, which occurs as you age. The discs start to shrink and become stiffer, lowering spinal flexibility and narrowing your spinal cord’s nerve root space. This causes strain on the nerves. The second reason is a slipped, herniated, or burst spinal disc. The gel-like core of the disc may start coming out, which might pinch off a nerve. This is the most prevalent cause of pinched nerves in younger individuals.

Many recover completely from a pinched nerve with home therapies. When medical or surgical treatment is required, the chance for full recovery is great. If the pain and other indicators of your pinched nerve do not improve within a few days, talk to your provider. They will evaluate your symptoms and provide the best therapy strategy. Call William Yancey, MD, or book your meeting online to determine if you are the right candidate for pinched nerve treatments.