HOW LONG DOES A PINCHED NERVE LAST IN Chino CA?
Pinched nerve pain in Chino CA is no fun. No matter where in the body it occurs can often affect your entire well-being. Our nerves send important messages out to the rest of our bodies, so when something isn't right with them, it's nearly impossible to ignore. A staggering 1 out of 3 people live with chronic pain and 85 out of every 100,000 Americans suffer from pinched nerves. Even if your nerve pain is localized, a pinched nerve can affect far more than just your physical body. Depression, mood swings, and irritability can make even the smallest tasks difficult. However, there is plenty of information and treatment for those struggling with pinched nerves.
What Is a Pinched Nerve In Chino CA?
Generally speaking, a pinched nerve is either a compressed or inflamed nerve. The surrounding tissues near the affected area are placing too much stress on the nerve root, causing pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and/or a burning sensation.
Some patients state it feels as though their limb has fallen asleep. This excessive pressure can be caused by bone, muscles, tendons, or cartilage. Damage to a nerve root can vary from being minor and treatable at home to severe, requiring physical therapy.
How Long Does a Pinched Nerve Last?
On average, a pinched nerve lasts anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. This is in cases where at-home remedies are done efficiently, however, the recovery time from a pinched nerve depends on a variety of factors. This can include things such as your immune system response, the root cause of the compressed nerve, and to what degree the nerve is damaged.
In circumstances such as cervical radiculopathy (when there is nerve compression in the neck at the point they branch away from the spinal cord) some patients reported taking up to 6 months to fully heal. In instances such as lumbar radiculopathy (a compressed nerve located in the lower back), most patients recovered anywhere from a few weeks to a few months with at-home remedies.
For patients with more chronic, severe pain, recovery time from surgery can last on average 4 to 6 weeks. (However, it is important to remember that everyone heals differently). Patients that require surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome often fully recover in 10 to 12 weeks yet are able to perform basic tasks quite soon after surgery.
What Causes a Pinched Nerve?
- Herniated Discs: More often than not, pinched nerves occur due to a herniated disc. A herniated disc is a spinal nerve injury. Our spine has a series of bones that run from the base of your skull, down to your tailbone. These vertebrae are separated by round, soft discs that allow space in between for easy movement. These discs contain a jelly-like substance in the middle, with a harder outer shell. Over time the hard outer shell can begin to weaken and crack. When one of these discs slips, tears, or begins to bulge out the spinal nerves in between start to cause nerve compression.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is chronic and affects the joints on both sides of the body. Symptoms include swelling, stiffness, and joint pain thus causing a variety of problems such as nerve compression. As the joints become inflamed, pressure begins to mount on nearby nerve roots.
- Aging: Aging leads to normal wear and tear on the discs between joints, causing the bones in the spinal cord to move closer together and form bone spurs. These bone spurs are quite painful and can cause a compressed nerve.
- Injury: Injuries from any sudden type of movement such as a car accident or sports can cause pinched nerves. The aggressive, quick jolt can cause a herniated disc resulting in sharp pain, compressed nerves, and in some severe cases, permanent damage.
- Repetitive Activities: Sports that require repetitive motions such as tennis or golf can also cause major strain on your body leading to pinched nerves. In addition, careers that require repetitive actions such as typing on a keyboard for long periods of time can cause overwhelming pressure on your muscles and tendons. This reason alone is why it is always extremely important to maintain good posture!
- Obesity: It is a well-known fact that our bodies are not built to carry around excess weight and due to the heavy burden this causes on tissues and joints, obesity is a huge risk factor for pinched nerves. Maintaining a healthy weight is incredibly important.
Where Are Pinched Nerves Located?
Pinched nerves can happen in any area of the body that experiences prolonged tension. Our nerves are the most fragile when traveling through narrow spaces where any type of pressure can cause a pinched nerve. While the most common spot for a pinched nerve to appear in the lower back, you can also experience pinched nerve symptoms in other areas:
- Neck (cervical radiculopathy): This type of nerve pain travels from the base of your neck down into your shoulder. Caused by an injury, sleeping position, or repetitive actions.
- Leg: Caused by a herniated disc in the lower back or an injury.
- Hip: Caused by an injury, bone spur, obesity, or arthritis. If you experience pain for more than a few days, contact your doctor.
- Wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome): Most commonly caused by excessive typing. In addition to pain, numbness, tingling, and burning sensations are felt from the wrist into the hand.
- Shoulder: Typically begins in the upper spine and travels downward. Caused by tendinitis, injury, or arthritis.
Treatments For a Pinched Nerve
While some cases of pinched nerves are mild and treatable at home, some cases are more severe and require medical treatment, physical therapy, or surgery.
- Time / Rest: The best thing to do for your body is to kick start the healing process.
- Ice / Heat: Alternating between at 20-minute intervals.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen or naproxen
- Corticosteroids: Stronger anti-inflammatory medications that require a prescription
- Physical Therapy: Talk to your doctor and physical therapist about a treatment plan to relieve pain. This includes light stretches and exercise.
Surgery is looked at as a last resort for pain when symptoms worsen or do not get better with conservative treatment.
- Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: (ACDF): This is an invasive surgery involving the removal of bone spurs or discs that have caused pressure on the spine. The spine is then fused back together eventually forming a single bone.
- Artificial Disk Replacement (ADR): Seen as a more flexible option, the herniated disc is removed from the spine and replaced with an artificial part, similar to that in a hip or knee replacement.
- Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy: This minimally invasive surgery is done to create more space along the spine to allow nerves to pass through.
How Do I Prevent a Pinched Nerve?
While some cases of pinched nerves are unavoidable - such as aging or a car accident - there are risk factors you can be aware of to help prevent yourself from this uncomfortable condition.
- Obesity: As discussed earlier, maintaining a balanced weight with nutritious, whole foods is extremely important not only for nerve pain but a variety of health conditions.
- Good posture: If your career requires sitting at a computer for long hours, posture support is crucial. Back braces or ergonomic office chairs are two ways to avoid extra strain on your spinal cord.
- Stretching/Exercise: If getting to the gym every day just isn't in the cards for you, even a few light stretches a day can strengthen muscles and keep your body flexible.
- Wrist rests: Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive tasks such as typing is completely possible with the use of frequent breaks or wrist rests to avoid extra strain on fragile wrist joints.
- Maintaining healthy blood sugars: Unless you are diabetic - or pre-diabetic, this may even be on your radar. However, if you ARE, keeping your blood sugars in an optimal range is crucial to prevent nerve damage. When blood sugars stay elevated for long periods of time not only are nerves put under extreme stress but organs, muscles, and joints are as well.
When Should I Seek Medical Care?
To avoid any permanent nerve damage it is important to know when to be seen by a medical professional. If symptoms of nerve compression are severe or the pain hasn't shown any signs of improvement after days of at-home care it may be time to call your doctor.
In addition, if the pain from a pinched nerve continues to come back it may be a sign that home treatments aren't enough. Severe weakness or loss of bowel control can also be symptoms of more extreme nerve damage. Often your doctor will provide medical advice and order imaging tests to be done to determine the extent of impairment.
A pinched nerve is a nerve root that for a variety of reasons has become strained or compressed. A pinched nerve often is treatable at home with basic injury care such as rest and ice packs. The typical recovery time for a pinched nerve is anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months in more severe cases. Nonetheless, everyone heals at different paces and if you feel as though your pain hasn't subsided within a few days of home care it's best to call your doctor. We have a 96% success rate in headline-pinched nerves in our office in Chino CA, call us now, and let’s get started.
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