signs of a pinched nerve

5 Signs of a Pinched Nerve You Can’t Ignore

Have you been experiencing discomfort but you’re not sure where it’s coming from?

If so, you might be experiencing a pinched nerve. Pinched nerves present themselves in many different ways. Some symptoms are the same as those for other causes. 

The symptoms associated with pinched nerves vary in strength, too. So it can be difficult to identify the problem correctly.

So how do you know if you have one or not? To help you assess what you’re feeling, we’ve created this list.

Here are five signs of a pinched nerve that you should know about.

1. You’re Feeling Numb

Numbness is one of the first symptoms you’re likely to experience. You’ll notice it when the feeling in your fingertips or another area of your body doesn’t seem to be as strong as usual.

Since numbness doesn’t always feel like a big deal, it’s easy to think you can ignore it. That’s not a good idea though. Allowing numbness to continue only allows the problem to continue.

A simple, momentary feeling of numbness might not be associated with a pinched nerve. But if you feel any numbing that’s significant, or numbness that seems to not go away, consult a doctor.

2. You Have Pins and Needles

This feeling may be closely associated with numbness at times, but it is a different thing. In this case, you’re feeling little pricks of pain all over a certain area of your body.

While they aren’t the same, numbness and pins and needles often go hand in hand. If they continue to show up in the same area on your body, you likely have a pinched nerve.

The feeling of pins and needles comes from a pinched sensory nerve. These nerves help you feel things like light touch.

3. Sharp Pain is Present

Numbness and pins and needles are on the lower end of the spectrum of what you might feel from a pinched nerve. On the other end, there’s pain.

Pain from a pinched nerve may be sharp or have a burning feeling. You might also feel like the pain is moving outward from somewhere deeper.

If you’re experiencing this, there’s a good chance the nerve is being pinched because something near it is inflamed.

Pain from nerve pinches can be sudden and very painful. If you notice this type of pain, consult a doctor to get the issue addressed.

4. Weakness is Affecting One Area of Your Body

Feeling weak in general may just be from not getting enough sleep or eating unhealthy food. If weakness is sticking around in one area of your body, though, you may have a pinched nerve.

This is because one type of nerve that’s housed in your body, the motor nerves, help your brain tell your muscles what to do. Weakness means there’s something wrong with the connection and your muscles aren’t getting the right message.

5. Part of You Repeatedly Falls Asleep

Have you ever had an arm or leg “fall asleep?” If you’re like most people, you probably have. While this is totally normal if you’ve been sitting on your leg for a while, it shouldn’t happen out of the blue.

If you get the feeling that an area of your body keeps falling asleep when you weren’t doing anything that warrants that feeling, you might have a pinched nerve.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It

A pinched nerve isn’t always a serious thing. At first, it may not be. But if left alone you may find yourself dealing with something worse down the line.

What might a pinched nerve come from? Pregnancy, diabetes, and repetitive physical stress are all on the list. A pinched nerve might also be a sign of something bigger, like a stroke or heart attack.

Since a pinched nerve may be a sign of something bigger or may turn into a bigger problem, it’s a good idea to get it checked if it persists.

Treatment for Pinched Nerves

The symptoms for pinched nerves range from annoying to painful. Luckily, though, there are remedies to help with each one.

Ultimately, you may need to visit a doctor to sort out the source of the issue. Real treatment may take time and the help of a medical specialist. There are some things you can do at home, though.

Here’s a look at some common treatment methods:


The area of your body that’s bothering you could benefit from some rest. This remedy is a good place to start.

You may find that the issue goes away, but if it doesn’t you know you need some extra help.

Physical Therapy

Depending on the severity of the pinched nerve you’re experiencing, you may need to do some physical therapy. This will help you work through your symptoms while addressing the issue at hand.


Surgery likely won’t be required if the pinched nerve is a minor thing. In some cases, though, surgery may be required. It can help take the pressure off your nerve.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs might be recommended by your doctor. Corticosteroids are an option too. These types of medications can help with the pain associated with pinched nerves.

Don’t Ignore These Signs of a Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve might be something simple, but it also might be a sign of something bigger. Because of this, you should never ignore these signs of a pinched nerve.

The sooner you can figure out what’s going on, the better. So don’t hesitate to reach out to your physician to diagnose the problem.

Experiencing a pinched nerve in your back? Click here to learn about how our spinal injections can help.

how to treat a pinched nerve

How to Treat a Pinched Nerve: 10 Home Remedies for Quick Relief

Did you know that pinched nerves send your body warning signs such as pain? Do not ignore them.

In this article, we will examine ten things you can do at home to help relieve the pain associated with the pinched nerve.

Do you want to learn how to treat a pinched nerve? Then keep reading to find out!

How to Treat a Pinched Nerve at Home

Here we will go over ten things you can do at home to treat a pinched nerve.

1. Correct Your Posture

Did you know that bad posture could cause your pinched nerve? You want to make sure you are sitting correctly. Improve your usual sitting or standing position.

By doing this, you will help lessen pain while also alleviating compression or constrictive of the affected nerve.

If a pinched nerve is in your neck, make sure you have your chin in a neutral position. Do not keep it too far back or forwards. Make sure your shoulders are in an upright position.

When you are sitting, keep your back straight. When walking or standing, make sure your body is upright and straight. Try to keep these postures often so you can help the pinched nerve.

2. Have a Rest

No matter the location or reason behind your pinched nerve, make sure you rest the area that has been affected. Resting should not be underestimated as part of the healing process. In fact, it is hugely important for your recovery.

For example, a pinched nerve in a neck needs quite a bit of rest. Do not participate in activities like tennis or golf. Rest until the pain is gone.

Also, try to sleep longer. When you are asleep, your body is given a chance to focus on healing. Perhaps use a neck brace while sleeping. This will help limit movement. You won’t risk more injury.

Try sleeping on your back or side and not your stomach.

If your pinched nerve is in your lower back, keep your legs rested a few inches when sleeping. Slip a pillow beneath them.

3. Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to the pinched nerve is a fantastic way to relieve some of the pain temporarily and quickly. The cold temperature will numb the area.

This will help with swelling, inflammation, and pain.

To make an ice pack, merely put ice cubes in a plastic bag. Seal it and wrap it up with a towel. Place the pack on the area and keep it there for ten minutes at a time. You can repeat this cooling treatment every hour.

Keep in mind that directly applying ice on the skin can trigger cold burns. Do not forget the towel and plastic bag.

4. Heat Compress

After experiencing the pinched nerve pain for twenty-four hours, it is now time to apply heat to the affected area.

By using heat, you will help the muscles relax that are surrounding the nerve. This will improve the flow of blood to the area of the damaged nerve.

Warm temperatures will speed up the healing process while also providing comfort.

First, you will get a washcloth. Soak it in warm water, then squeeze out the excess. Place this washcloth on the sore area and keep it there for ten minutes.

You can repeat this if you’d like. Another option is using a heating pad or hot water bottle.

5. Bathe in Epsom Salts

Did you know that Epsom salts give your body enough magnesium? This, in turn, helps heal and reduce nerve pain. Take an Epsom salt bath because your body will quickly absorb the magnesium.

Epsom salts also have anti-inflammatory properties. This will help your tight muscles relax that are surrounding the pinched nerve.

Only add one cup of Epsom salt to your warm bath water. Soak in the bath for twenty minutes. Do this twice a week until your symptoms reduce or disappear.

6. Massage with Warm Oil

Another great way to reduce the pain from a pinched nerve is by massaging your muscles with warm oil. This will help activate pressure points. In turn, blood flow will improve, stiff muscles will relax, mobility improves, and the pain lessens.

Try warm olive, mustard, or coconut oil along with a few drops of peppermint oil.

Gently rub on the affected area and massage for ten minutes.

Do two times a day until you see an improvement. You may need to ask for help if it’s in an area you can’t reach by yourself.

7. Castor Oil Compress

Castor oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it ideal for treating inflammation and pain created by a pinched nerve. Oil will help restore the nerve function.

Create a castor oil pack. Use pieces of wool flannel fabric and soak them in warm castor oil. Squeeze out excess oil and place the material on the pained area. Use a piece of plastic wrap to cover the square. Then cover it with a thin towel.

To keep the warmth of the oil, place a heating pad over the towel. You can do this every few hours a day.

8. Stretch Gently

Do some gentle stretches and gain relief from your pinched nerve. By stretching, blood flow will increase, and your stiff muscles will relax.

If the pinched nerve is around your neck, gently rotate it in a circular motion, both counterclockwise and clockwise. This movement will stretch out any irritated muscles. Shift your neck side to side and forward and backward.

If the pinched nerve is in your arm, gently rotate your wrists and arms, counterclockwise and clockwise.

9. Turmeric

Turmeric is one of those spices that is special. If can help relieve inflammation and pain connected with the pinched nerve. Its soothing properties help lessen the symptoms.

Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to coconut or almond milk. Bring to a boil and then add cinnamon. Strain the liquid and add honey. Taste this milk once or twice a day for a couple of weeks.

10. Acupuncture or Acupressure

These are alternative therapies that can treat a pinched nerve. They will relieve the pain while also restoring the nerve function.

They stimulate certain spots on the body. This releases chemicals and allows the person to experience a change in their perception of pain.

Feel Better

We hope you found this article helpful. Next time you experience a pinched nerve, remember these ten different tips on how to treat a pinched nerve.

If the pain is continuing to persist, please contact us today to help. You may need to consider an epidural steroid injection or surgery.

Sacroiliac Joint Fusion with The iFuse Implant


The Sacroiliac (SI) joint may be a pain generator in 15-30% of patients with chronic lower back pain and even higher (up to 43%) for patients with continued or new onset low back pain after a previous lumbar fusion.* Learn about SI joint dysfunction and treatment options from Dr. Carl Spivak, MD, a Neurosurgeon at Executive Spine Surgery.
*Rashbaum – Clin Spine Surg 2016
This event is co-sponsored by SI-BONE, Inc.
Important Safety Information:

6 Signs of Herniated Disk or Slipped Disk


  1. Leg pain – this may be pain radiating down the back or the side of the leg to the knee or foot.   Sometimes this pain is felt in the front or inner thigh or even the groin.  The pain may worsen with straightening the leg or siting up.   Arthritis pain is different from slipped disk.  arthritis pain  is usually only found in the hip, knees or ankle and does not radiate down the whole leg.
  2. Numbness and tingling – this may be felt as pins and needles, burning or decreased or absent feeling in the area of the pain or beyond it.  Sometimes numbness may appear without pain.
  3. Weakness – the leg may give out or drag.  You may have problems getting up from sitting, stepping onto a stool or moving your foot.
  4. Reflex loss – patients may loose reflexes at their knee or ankle or from the bottom of their foot.  Usually this is picked up from your doctor.
  5. Walking – the leg may drag or catch on the floor, you may have to lift the leg high to avoid this
  6. Bowel and bladder – if the disk compresses the cauda equina (the nerves to the bowel and bladder)  the bowel and bladder may stop working.  You may retention of pee or bowel movements or become incontinent of them.  If this happens you should seek medical attention immediately.

About Dr. Carl Spivak

Dr. Spivak is the president of Executive Spine Surgery and has offices in New York and New Jersey.  He is well known for his cutting-edge, minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgeries and regularly teaches courses throughout the USA.  For more information please call 908-452-5612 or click on schedule-an-appointment.

Can spinal epidural steroid injection hurt my brain?

Spinal epidural injections are very common treatments for back pain and sciatica.  Sciatica is leg pain running down the back of your leg caused by a slipped disk pinching a nerve.  Imagine the disk is a marshmallow (even though it really isn’t).  The disk like a marshmallow may expand out if you squeeze it.


You can try this at home – take a marshmallow and squeeze it from the top and bottom.  See how the marshmallow expands out as you flatten it.  This is similar to a herniated disk .  The bulging disk may pinch a nerve causing the nerve to swell up and get “hot” called inflammation causing back and leg pain.

Spinal epidural steroid injections are the placement of steroid medicine into the spine onto the hot and swollen nerve to cool down the inflammation and relieve the pain and suffering.  Think of it like putting an aspirin on the nerve.

Even though spinal injections are generally safe there are risks and side effects to all medical procedures. These include bleeding, infection, dural puncture or “wet tap” causing headaches and nerve damage.  Patients may also experience increased pain, headaches, red face, anxiety, problems sleeping, fever, high blood sugar, decreased immunity, stomach ulcers, severe arthritis, cataracts and menstrual irregularities.

TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION the most common way spinal epidural steroid injections affect your brain is through headaches.  Usually these headaches will resolve with time.  If they are related to “wet tap” you may require bed rest, caffeine, fluids and rarely blood patch.  Blood patch is the injection of blood into the spine to stop spinal fluid leak and “plug” the hole from the “wet tap”.


Dr. Spivak is a neurosurgeon fellowship trained in minimally invasive spine surgery and spinal epidural steroid injections.  He has practices in New York and New Jersey.  For more information on spinal epidural injections or laser endoscopic spine surgery please call Executive Spine Surgery at 908-452-5612 or click schedule-an-appointment.

Can scoliosis cause chronic back pain?

The spine is made up of a stacked alternating vertebral bodies and disks.  The spine is usually straight on anterior posterior x-ray.  Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine.  The spine may look like a C or S on X-ray. Scoliosis may arise from birth abnormalities where the spine was formed wrong, such as missing half of a vertebrae or from changes resulting from arthritis.  The cause of scoliosis in young people is unknown and is called idopathic even though certain genetic traits have been defined.

Children are commonly screened at school for scoliosis, especially at the time of the growth spurt when the development and progression is most common.  Patients suspected of having scoliosis undergo a history and physical and relevant laboratory investigations.  This may include x-rays, serial x-rays, CT and MRI.  Patients found to have a spinal curvature of greater than 10 degrees are diagnosed as scoliosis.

Scoliosis alters the mechanics of the back and puts significant strain on the vertebral bodies, disks, muscles and even the nerves leading to chronic pain and suffering.

Treatment is complex and requires individualization.  Smaller curvatures are watched while larger curvatures greater then 20 to 30 degrees may require bracing. Surgery is usually reserved for very large curvatures greater then 45 to 50 degrees which have high likelihood to progress even more.  Other indications for surgery include pain, weakness, difficult mobilizing and breathing.  Surgery usually involves spinal fusion surgery, this may be done through the front (anterior), side (lateral) or back (posterior) combined with spinal instrumentation (screws and rods).

Overall prognosis of scoliosis depends on the likelihood to progress.  Patients with larger curvatures, thoracic curves, double curves and immature spines (such as adolescents) have higher chance or progressing.


Dr Spivak is a neurosurgeon who specialized in minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery.  He is a well known teacher and speaker in laser spine surgery.  For more information on scoliosis, other spinal disorders or laser spine surgery please call 908-452-5612 or click schedule-an-appointment.

Is there a link between strength and the development of scoliosis?

Scoliosis is the curvature of the spine.  Scoliosis may result from juvenile scoliosis in kids (unknown cause), spine, arthritis, neurologic disease, surgery, injury, etc.  Neurologic disease such as a spine tumor may cause back muscle weakness resulting in scoliosis. Scoliosis is not caused from being out of shape or not working out at the gym (that is being weak).  I hope this information answers your question.

For more information please click on Does scoliosis cause pain?  Good luck!

I am having back pain and trouble urinating.

Trouble urinating may be stress incontinence (urinary dribbling or wetting when you cough), urinary urgency (sudden urge to go to the bathroom and may wet yourself if you can not get there in time, this is commonly associated with pain), urinary incontinence (no or little control over urinating resulting in peeing your pants) and urinary retention (unable to start to urinate, bladder fills with urine and may cause abdominal discomfort).

Back pain and problems urinating can be a surgical emergency called cauda equina syndrome.  This may be associated is numbness in the perineum (butt and groin), leg weakness, numbness or pain (such as Sciatica), urinary retention (unable to pee), urinary incontinence ( unable to control your peeing causing you to wet your pants) and bowel incontinence (uncontrolled bowel movements).  If you develop these symptoms you should immediately go to the emergency room.    You may have herniated disk (or something else) pinching your nerves that innervate your bladder and may need emergency surgery to remove it. Good Luck!

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