Your body is full of millions of nerves that help send signals and information, including messages from your brain, indications to feel pain, and controlling of your movements. Nerves are everywhere in your body, and if too much pressure is placed on a nerve, it can become aggravated. A nerve under too much pressure can become a pinched nerve, which can disrupt its ability to send clear messages and also cause you pain and other symptoms. Certain injuries can cause symptoms of a pinched nerve, especially if you were recently in a car accident. When you visit a doctor for car accident injury care, you will want to describe any pinched nerve symptoms you are experiencing so they can determine the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
What Is a Pinched Nerve?
When a nerve is under a lot of pressure from nearby tissues, it is known as a pinched nerve. Inflammation of soft tissues like muscle and tendons can compress nearby nerves and lead to pinched nerve symptoms. Bones or cartilage can also lead to a nearby pinched nerve. The most common experience of a pinched nerve is that “pins and needles” feeling you get if you’ve been sitting for too long or had your legs crossed and feel like your foot “fell asleep.” The “pins and needles” feeling can be painful and cause uncomfortable symptoms like tingling, weakness, and even numbness. While this type of pinched nerve can cause your leg or foot to “fall asleep,” it typically goes away once you move, releasing pressure off of the nerve. However, when this occurs in other parts of the body, especially as a result of a recent injury, it may require treatment for you to experience lasting relief.
4 Common Pinched Nerve Symptoms
Here are the four most common symptoms of a pinched nerve:
Pain from a pinched nerve may be sharp and stabbing or feel like an aching or burning sensation. A pinched nerve can cause you to experience pain when its signals are disrupted. Pain from a pinched nerve can also radiate into other parts of the body. For example, a pinched nerve in your neck may cause pain and discomfort in your shoulder and arm.
Tingling is another common sensation with a pinched nerve. This tingling is common with that “pins and needles” feeling that can be uncomfortable. The name for this is paraesthesia and can also feel like a burning or prickling.
A pinched nerve can cause temporary numbness in an area. If you’ve had your foot “fall asleep” before, then you know what it is like to temporarily feel like you can’t put weight on your foot until you regain sensation. This numbness can occur when the nerve is unable to send the proper signals to other parts of the body.
Weakness is also a common symptom of a pinched nerve. Because nerves can send signals and communication to the body about movements and motion, a compression of those nerves can disrupt your ability to function effectively. You may experience muscle weakness in the area near the pinched nerve.
3 Common Pinched Nerve Causes
Here are three examples of pinched nerve causes:
- Overuse Injury
Repetitive movements while playing sports or on the job can lead to a pinched nerve. For example, a sport or job that requires frequent wrist movements like tennis or construction may cause swelling or otherwise aggravate a nearby nerve.
- Car Accident Injury
Whiplash or a herniated disc can cause pinched nerves after a car accident. Spinal damage, soft tissue damage, and inflammation can all compress nearby nerves and lead to a pinched nerve.
Several types of arthritis affect the joints and can cause pain and inflammation. When this occurs, swelling in and around a joint can put pressure on nerves, causing pinched nerve symptoms.
If you were recently injured in a car accident or suffer from pinched nerve symptoms, visit a ProCare Medical Centers location near you. Our team of accident doctors offer car accident injury care, including treatment for a pinched nerve.