A pinched nerve is usually noticeable by stinging or burning pain. It can also cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling. The most common symptoms are those of the neck, neck or back. But other body parts such as the shoulders, arms or hips can be affected. Often a harmless muscle hardening is the cause of the pinched nerve. We reveal what you can do about the complaints.
Pinched Nerve: Typical Symptoms
Who suffers from a pinched nerve, in which there is a limitation of the functioning of the affected nerves. Which symptoms occur in the context of the functional restriction, among other things, depends on which nerve is affected:
- In most cases, a stabbing, stinging, or burning pain is a typical symptom of a pinched nerve.
- In addition to the pain can also cause discomfort such as tingling, numbness and sensory disturbances.
- It may also be that the affected body part is restricted in its movement.
If a nerve is trapped, the symptoms do not just occur in the affected area. Rather, they often make themselves felt in the supply area of the nerve. For example, if the sciatic nerve is impaired, not only low back pain but also pain in the hips or legs may occur.
Muscle hardening as a cause
A pinched nerve can have different causes. Often it is caused by an irritation or inflammation of the nerve. Similarly, irritation of the surrounding muscles can be the trigger.
Frequently, muscle hardening is the cause of the discomfort: If the tissue tightens, it becomes hard and puts pressure on the nerve tracts.
As a trigger for a muscle hardening come, inter alia:
- Common causes include long-term malpractices and one-sided stress.
- In addition, dysfunction and signs of wear of the spine can lead to tension in the muscles.
- Likewise, incorrect lifting and unfavorable movement - for example when exercising - can result in cramping of the muscles.
Exclude serious causes
Muscle hardening is not always the cause of a pinched nerve. Nerve function may also be limited by injuries such as broken bones or whiplash.
If stabbing pains occur in the back, you should also think of a herniated disc. This is especially true if in addition a numbness in the arms or legs occurs. In a herniated disc, the discomfort caused by the fact that a slipped disc pushes on the nerves that run in the spinal canal.
In addition to an intervertebral disc, tumors - both benign and malignant - can also press on the nerves and cause discomfort. For prolonged symptoms, you should always consult a doctor to exclude a serious cause.
Pinched nerve in shoulder, neck and neck
Neck, neck, shoulders and back are particularly often affected by a pinched nerve. If the nerve is in the area of the neck, backache and / or headache often occur.
For a pinched nerve in the shoulder, however, complaints in the arms and hands are typical. In addition to muscle tension, a dislocated shoulder joint is the cause in question.
A pinched nerve in the back is also often due to muscle hardening. However, behind the complaints, other causes - usually problems with the spine - stuck. In addition to a herniated disc, diseases such as spondylitis, spondylosis and spondylolisthesis are also possible.
Treat a pinched nerve
The treatment of a pinched nerve always depends on the underlying causes. If muscle hardening is behind the symptoms, pain-relieving and muscle-relaxing remedies are usually used. These can either be taken orally or injected directly into the vicinity of the pinched nerve.
It is also recommended to treat the affected area with heat. As a result, the muscles are better supplied with blood and the tension dissolves. In addition to a hot water bottle and heating and Kirschkernkissen especially heat patches are well suited. Since they are not noticeable under clothing, they can also be applied during the day.
Finally, massages can help to relax the hardened muscles again. Special strengthening and stretching exercises can then help to prevent a recurrence of muscle hardening. Let your physiotherapist show you a few suitable exercises.
It is important not to take any restraint despite the pinched nerve, but to move as normally as possible. Because if a rest period is taken over a longer period of time, it can happen that the muscles become even more cramped. To prevent this vicious circle, you should take timely pain-relieving and muscle-relaxing drugs.
In addition to classical treatment methods, there are also some alternative medical concepts for the treatment of trapped nerves. In addition to acupuncture, these primarily include osteopathy and chiropractic. If muscle tension is the cause of pain, homeopathic remedies such as Arnica or Bryonia can be used to relax the muscles.
Immediate action with a pinched nerve
When you realize that you have a nerve pinched, it is important to respond immediately. As a result, you can alleviate the symptoms significantly under certain circumstances:
- Stay for a few minutes in the position where the pain has occurred.
- Take a deep breath in and out.
- Do not move the painful area by force.