As spinal nerves branch off the spinal cord, any pressure exerted on them can result in nerve compression. Often, this causes pain or numbness to radiate to the arms and legs. Often called radicular pain, this pain can also occur in the low back and leg as well as along the nerves at any level of the spine. In addition to the protrusion or herniation of discs, bone spurs or scar tissue, spinal instrumentation, tumors, infection or cysts may result in this pressure. Nerve Compression can even cause weakness in the extremities or result in loss of bladder or bowel control. When these symptoms appear, you should seek medical attention immediately. Loss of bowel or bladder function may indicate an urgent need for surgery.
What are the Symptoms of Nerve Compression?
Symptoms of nerve compression include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms or legs. There are many different types and types of pain, ranging from dull, aching, and difficult to localize to sharp and burning.
How do you Describe Nerve Compression?
Putting pressure on the spinal nerves can cause compression as they branch off the spinal cord. Often, this results in pain or numbness radiating into the arms or legs. Pain that radiates from the shoulder down to the low back or leg may refer to "sciatica."
What are the Treatments for Nerve Compression?
Physicians will usually first recommend physical therapy and medication. If these fail to relieve the pain, the physician will escalate to epidural steroid injections as the next option. Patients may consider surgery, such as decompression or discectomy, if severe pain persists. During these procedures, the spine surgeons will remove the tissue pressing on the nerves. Patients should discuss treatment options for nerve compression with their doctor when deciding which treatment they wish to proceed with.