Your spinal nerves are part of a complex system that run throughout your spine and extend to your extremities. If any part of one of these nerves becomes compressed or irritated, it can lead to localized or shooting pain. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some back conditions that can lead to spinal nerve compression, and we talk about some treatments for these issues.
Here’s a look at some spinal conditions that can result in nerve compression or irritation, and how a neurospecialist can help calm the area.
1. Compressive Neuropathy – If foraminal stenosis or a bulging disc is compressing or irritating a spinal nerve, you may be experiencing shooting pain or a tingling sensation. Any shifting structure can lead to compressive neuropathy, and treatment depends on the root cause of the issue. Many compressed structures respond well to conservative actions like physical therapy and physical manipulation, but surgery may also be necessary to remove bone spurs or a significantly herniated disc.
2. Sciatica – Another common nerve issue that we treat is sciatica. Sciatica is a general term for an issue that concerns the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in your body, This nerve begins at the back of your pelvis and travels through your buttocks and down the length of your leg. If it becomes impinged, compressed, irritated or damaged, you may experience pain in your hip or legs. Other symptoms include gait changes and leg weakness. Physical therapy, regular exercise and weight management are great non-operative ways to help treat common sciatic nerve issues.
3. Spinal Infections – Spinal infections are rarer than the two above conditions, but they can be a source of spinal nerve compression. Your body will have a natural inflammatory response to fight the infection, and localized inflammation can lead to nerve irritation or compression. In order to treat this type of issue, you need to treat the root source of the problem, which is the infection. Antibiotics or surgical drainage can help rid the area of the infection, and in turn address the nerve compression.
4. Scar Tissue Formation – After a surgery or an injury, your body may produce what’s known as scar tissue to help the area heal. This type of tissue is different from normal skin issue, and as it develops it can accidentally envelop or compress nearby nerves. Physical therapy and targeted stretching are great ways to break up scar tissue as it forms to decrease its likelihood of entrapping a nerve, and a surgical decompression operation is common for nerves that end up affected by scar tissue development.
For help with your spinal nerve compression, reach out to Dr. Chang and his experienced team today.