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A pinched nerve can cause extreme pain, but patients in Tampa can find relief through Laser Spine Institute

A pinched nerve is often the result of a spine condition, such as bulging discs or bone spurs. When the spine moves out of alignment due to spinal instability or creates a growth due to spinal deterioration, a nerve root in the spinal canal risks being impacted by the movement of the spine. When a nerve root is impacted, it is referred to as a pinched nerve. Though the condition may seem simple enough, pinched nerves can cause debilitating pain and symptoms that can dramatically reduce a patient’s ability to enjoy life.

At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the frustration you are experiencing with your chronic pinched nerve pain and the concern you have about finding a treatment that reduces your pain and symptoms. Our team is committed to providing you with answers and information about pinched nerves and the treatment options available to you so you can be empowered to make the best choice about your spine care needs. As you continue to research pinched nerves and treatment options, please contact our Care Team with any questions or concerns about how to find pain relief and wellness.

Diagnosing a pinched nerve

If you have sudden, persistent back pain that does not subside after several days, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. In most cases, a primary care physician will be able to diagnose your pinched nerve by:

  • Discussing with you your symptoms and medical history
  • Conducting a physical examination to test your reflexes and range of motion
  • Requesting you get an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to confirm your suspected pinch nerve diagnosis

Pinched nerve causes

A pinched nerve is caused by any anatomical change in the spine that puts pressure on a nearby nerve. In many cases, these changes are the result of the natural aging process since the spine inherently degenerates with years of activity. Several lifestyle factors can also increase the rate of spinal degeneration, such as obesity, playing high-impact sports and smoking. Additionally, a pinched nerve may be the direct result of a different spinal condition, such as:

  • Bone spur
  • Bulging disc
  • Herniated disc
  • Facet disease
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal arthritis

Pinched nerve symptoms

The symptoms associated with pinched nerves can vary depending upon the location and severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Radiating pain
  • Tingling
  • Burning in hands or feet
  • Numbness
  • Pain in one location
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps

Suffering from nerve pain caused by pinched nerves can have a devastating impact on your ability to enjoy life. If you have been experiencing this pain for several months or years, you may have already noticed a decrease in your quality of life. There are many treatment options available to help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with a pinched nerve so you can get back to doing the activities you love.

Pinched nerve treatment

The first step to find pain relief is to undergo a series of conservative treatments aimed at lengthening and aligning your spine without surgical intervention. These treatments should be monitored for several months before determining whether or not the conservative therapies are providing effective pain relief. Commonly utilized methods of conservative treatment for a pinched nerve include pain medication, stretching, low-impact exercise, hot and cold therapy and epidural steroid injections.

Furthermore, some patients choose to take advantage of alternative methods of treatment for their pinched nerve. Although these methods are not widely accepted by physicians, many patients have found significant relief through the use of chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, Pilates, yoga and massage therapy. Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new treatment method.

Pinched nerve surgery

After trying conservative options to treat your pinched nerves, surgery may become the best treatment if you are still seeking effective pain relief. Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery used to treat pinched nerves.^ These procedures include:

  • Foraminotomy — Is used to remove the elements pinching the nerves at the exit of the foramen
  • Laminotomy — is used to remove the pinching or compressing of the spinal cord and surrounding nerve roots
  • Discectomy — allows the Laser Spine Institute surgeon to remove the disc material that is pinching the nerve
  • Anterior cervical discectomy fusion (ACDF) — allows the surgeon to remove the disc material that is pinching the nerve while replacing the disc with an artificial disc and fusing the area to prevent future instability
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) — allows the surgeon to insert a bone graft and spacer into the disc area for added height and stability
  • Lateral lumbar interbody fusion — allows the surgeon to fuse the adjacent vertebrae while removing any damaged disc material and inserting a spacer to retain the height of the disc

For more information regarding pinched nerve procedures at Laser Spine Institute’s Tampa center, contact us today. You can ask our dedicated team of Patient Empowerment Consultants for a review of your MRI or CT scan at no cost* to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.