Overview

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.

Aug. 08, 2017
References
  1. NINDS pinched nerve information page. National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/pinchednerve/pinchednerve.htm?css. Accessed Oct. 4, 2016.
  2. Rutkove SB. Overview of lower extremity peripheral nerve syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 4, 2016.
  3. 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.
  4. Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00332. Accessed Oct. 4, 2016.
  5. Rutkove SB. Overview of upper extremity peripheral nerve syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 4, 2016.