A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure disrupts the nerve's function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.
A pinched nerve can occur at a number of sites in your body. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome).
With rest and other conservative treatments, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks. Sometimes, surgery is needed to relieve pain from a pinched nerve.
April 07, 2017
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- Overview and evaluation of hand disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/hand-disorders/overview-and-evaluation-of-hand-disorders?qt=&sc=&alt. Accessed Oct. 4, 2016.
- Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00332. Accessed Oct. 4, 2016.
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