Spinal nerve decompression is the removal or adjustment of bony material or tissue that is pressing on or compressing, a nerve root or the spinal cord. Nerve compression can be caused by a number of spinal conditions, including bone spurs and damaged discs, most of which arise during the normal aging process. Decompression can be approached either surgically or nonsurgically. Traditional open spine surgical decompression is highly invasive, takes place in a hospital and requires a lengthy recuperation.
Nonsurgical nerve decompression therapy is performed using mechanical traction devices and while the Food and Drug Administration has approved the procedure, studies on its effectiveness have proven inconclusive. Read on to learn about the symptoms of nerve compression and the minimally invasive treatment options available for this condition.
Symptoms of nerve compression
Bone spurs, herniated discs, bulging discs and other anatomical abnormalities do not always pinch nerves and, therefore, do not always exhibit symptoms. These conditions can produce nerve compression, at which point a patient might experience localized or radiating pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.
The location of the compressed nerve or nerves determines the area of the body where symptoms occur. Below is a list of the areas of the body affected by nerve compression in each of the four major regions of the spine:
- Cervical (neck) nerves occur in the head, neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers and diaphragm
- Thoracic (upper back) nerves occur in the hands, chest, back, abdomen, heart, lungs, liver, stomach and other internal organs
- Lumbar (lower back) nerves occur in the legs, feet, abdomen, lower back and reproductive organs
- Sacral (pelvic) nerves occur in the legs, bowel, bladder and reproductive organs
Minimally invasive nerve decompression
Symptoms associated with nerve compression generally can be managed using conservative methods, including pain medication and physical therapy. However, surgery might become an option if chronic pain persists after several weeks or months of conservative treatment. Rather than settle for traditional open spine surgery, more than 75,000 patients have found relief at USA Spine Care.
At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive procedures that eliminate hospital-associated and the period of recuperation is much shorter than that required by traditional open spine surgery. Contact USA Spine Care today with any questions or concerns you have about our nerve decompression procedures.
By using a less than 1-inch incision that does not disrupt the muscles or ligaments in the spine, our highly skilled surgeons are able to decompress the nerves in order to provide the patient with lasting relief. To find out if you are a candidate for our procedures, reach out to our dedicated team and ask for a free MRI review.* We are here to help guide you through your journey to wellness.