Living with pain and other symptoms related to a pinched, or compressed nerve, can be beyond frustrating. Sometimes nerve compression can be as temporary as your foot “falling asleep” for a minute or two after sitting in an awkward position. However, a pinched nerve can lead to chronic and debilitating pain if something more serious, such as a spine condition, is the underlying cause.
The pain and limited mobility from a pinched spinal nerve can cause missed days of work and make even everyday activities like working in the yard almost impossible in some cases. The good news is that it is possible to get back to a healthy active lifestyle. Learning more about your options for treatment — from conservative therapies to minimally invasive decompression surgery — can help you better work with your doctor to develop a plan with the best chance of providing you relief.
What causes a pinched nerve in the spine?
One of the biggest underlying factors leading to spinal nerve compression is the natural aging process. As our bodies age and lose moisture, the moving parts of the spine, including the joints and discs, become less able to withstand the movement and pressure from everyday activities. The spine becomes more prone to degenerative conditions and injuries that can displace anatomy and put pressure on the many nerves running through it. Common spine conditions include:
- Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes
- Bulging and herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet disease and other forms of spinal osteoarthritis
- Traumatic injuries
- Disease, infections or tumors
- Sports-related injuries
Upon diagnosis of one of these conditions, doctors typically recommend a course of conservative treatment options while overall progress of symptoms is monitored. This can include pain medication, physical therapy, exercise and periods of rest. Nerve decompression surgery is usually seen as a last resort treatment due to the highly invasive nature of traditional procedures.
Minimally invasive decompression surgery
Surgery is usually seriously explored if a full course of conservative treatment does not bring relief necessary to return to a normal lifestyle. As an alternative to traditional open spine procedures, USA Spine Care offers minimally invasive decompression surgery. By using state-of-the-art muscle-sparing techniques, our surgeons are able to use a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine and remove the anatomy causing nerve compression. The result for our patients is an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.
Contact USA Spine Care for a no-cost MRI review* to help you determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.