A Pinched Nerve?
Pinched nerves are usually caused when nerves are compressed by a bone, muscle, or other connective tissues.
The sensation can present as pain, tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, general discomfort, dull ache, radiating sensation down the arm or leg.
This nerve pressure can develop over time by poor posture or repetitive stress injuries from work. It can also occur while playing a sport, being active and moving the wrong way, or over lifting. Once the pressure has been relieved, the pain will generally go away. The pinched nerve will often relieve itself with rest over time, but in some cases, that can take a very long time. When suffering from pain and numbness, it can feel like a lifetime. There are some more conservative methods of healing that usually speed up the process, other than surgery. Reducing activity until healed is a must. Access your working environment, ergonomics, and repetitive strain to see why the pinched nerve may have occurred.
Massage therapy may be a great option in relieving a pinched nerve because sometimes muscle tension may cause pressure. A case where the nerve is pressed in the hip- Piriformis muscle area is easy to treat with massage therapy and is probably the best action. Piriformis pinches sciatica usually from sitting too much, carrying a wallet in one pocket, driving, hiking, even running. Or having hips misaligned, one foot longer than the other. Pregnancy can also cause pinched nerves from stretched tissues.
However, some pinched nerve cases like Cervical Radiculopathy where a ruptured disc pinches the nerve in the neck, or Lumbar Radiculopathy where the sciatic nerve is pinched by the spine bone in the lower spine might require a combination of pain medications such as corticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatory drugs) or non-steroidal pain medication like ibuprofen or naproxen and physical therapy. Steroids may be prescribed orally or injected epidurally (into the space surrounding the dura, which is the membrane surrounding the spinal cord). As well as physical therapy and massage to complement pain relief. Those types of pinched nerves are usually caused by trauma to the spine or arthritis.
In those cases, physical therapy is recommended and might include gentle cervical traction and mobilization, exercises, and other modalities to reduce pain. Gentle massage is recommended to reduce pain and tension in the surrounding muscles where the nerve is pinched and reduce the imbalance in the body from overcompensation in other muscles. If significant compression on the nerve exists to the extent that motor weakness results, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure.
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