When too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons, patients can develop a pinched nerve. This pressure disrupts the nerve’s function and causes a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
A pinched nerve can occur at a number of sites in the body as a result of conditions like a herniated disc and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
Symptoms of a pinched nerve may worsen during sleep.
A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure, or compression, is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, bone, cartilage, muscle, or tendons.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, occurs when a variety of tissues compress the carpal tunnel’s median nerve, including swollen tendon sheaths within the tunnel, enlarged bone that narrows the tunnel, or a thickened and worn out ligament.
Nerve compression may be caused by:
A temporary pinched nerve doesn’t typically cause permanent damage. If the pressure is quickly relieved, nerve function returns to normal. But if nerve compression is left untreated, patients can experience chronic pain and permanent nerve damage.
The likelihood of experiencing a pinched nerve may be increased by the following factors: