Pinched nerve occurs due to its compression by the intervertebral disc, displaced vertebrae, muscle spasm, new formations. The main factors for the occurrence of pathology include:
- Intervertebral hernia. This is probably the most common reason. There is a protrusion of the structure of the intervertebral disc, which squeezes the nerve root.
- Osteochondrosis. The disease leads to the destruction of the intervertebral discs and the structure of the vertebra.
- Rachiocampsis. With scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis, the position of the vertebrae in relation to each other is disturbed.
- Injuries, including cracks, fractures.
- Benign and malignant neoplasms.
- Infectious diseases.
- Pregnancy and postpartum period. In the last weeks of pregnancy, the child becomes already heavy, the center of gravity shifts, the load on the spine increases. After childbirth, the woman is often forced to take the child in her arms.
- Strong physical exertion with a weak muscular corset, extreme stress in athletes, improper weight lifting.
- Spondylolisthesis. When the intervertebral disc is destroyed, the superior vertebra shifts forward relative to the lower one.
Read also … Why is the sciatic nerve impaired during pregnancy and how to treat it?
The main symptom of pinching a nerve in the spine is pain. It can arise as a backache – suddenly, unexpectedly. And can be aching, pulling, last for a long time.
The nature of the pain depends on which nerve fibers are clamped. If the sensory nerve is pinched, the pain is concentrated at the site of the lesion and remains for a long time. Clamping the autonomic nerve leads to disruption of the internal organs. Motion impairment is characterized by numbness, weakness of the leg muscles.
Pain may occur at one point and spread to other areas. According to its localization, whole symptom complexes are distinguished: sciatica, ischalgia, lumboischialgia, lumbalgia.
Sciatica – the clamp of the sciatic nerve responsible for the motor activity of the legs. Pain occurs in the lumbosacral region. It is described as strong, extending into the buttock, thigh, lower leg, up to the foot. All over except painful sensations, burning, tingling, and numbness may appear. Flexing in the joint is impaired. Sometimes the patient does not feel the foot – there is the effect of “cotton” legs. The symptom of Lasega will help to clarify sciatica – the patient lies on his back, the doctor raises the injured leg by the heel. In response to pain at the lower back level. Symptom Bekhtereva (cross symptom Lasega) is that if you raise a healthy leg, starts to hurt the affected.
When ischalgia pain appears in the lower back, gives to the buttocks, thighs. In the lower part of the foot, an overstressing of the muscles occurs. In the lumbar region decreases susceptibility to temperature stimuli, touch. There may be lameness, immobilization. For the acute form is characterized by irregularities in the organs located in the pelvic region: constipation or urinary incontinence. Severe pain leads to sleep disorders.
Lumboischialgia is characterized by the spread of pain from the lower back along the back of the foot to the calf muscle and foot. May appear on one or both legs at once. Soreness increases with coughing, movement, long sitting. In the lumbar region, a sensation of cold or heat may appear. At night, there are often cramps in the calf. During the day, the hip joint may be immobilized. Note external signs of the disease: dry skin, paleness of the toes of the toes, swelling in the ankle.
When lumbodynia occurs mild back pain, mainly on the one hand. May increase with load. If untreated, it can spread to the sacrum, buttocks and the outer surface of the legs. In places of localization of pain, muscle tightening occurs. This violation differs from the rest.
Pinched nerve occurs due to various pathologies. In this regard, self-treatment can not only help but also harm the patient. When contacting a medical institution, a specialist, usually a neurologist, will conduct an examination and necessary tests to determine the nature and severity of the disorder. In order to clarify the diagnosis, additional studies will be assigned:
- Magnetic resonance imaging;
- CT scan.
Using these methods, the doctor will eliminate tumors, displacement of the vertebrae, trauma, the presence of a hernia or protrusion.
Having established the diagnosis, the doctor determines how to treat a pinched nerve. Typically, therapy includes medications aimed at reducing pain, relieving muscle spasm, inflammation.
After passing through the acute phase and relieving symptoms, physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage, and therapeutic exercises are performed. Usually the treatment takes place at home. In severe cases, surgery is indicated.
Sharply arisen pain as a result of pinching the nerve must be quickly stopped. Often it is not possible to reach the clinic or wait for the arrival of a doctor. In this case, the patient must be laid on a hard, preferably warm surface, soothe him, giving a tincture of valerian, motherwort, decoction of mint. Ibuprofen or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug helps relieve pain. Smear the place with ointment or gel of Fenistil type. You can make a cold and warm compress.
When breathing is difficult, you need to release the chest, open the window for access of fresh air.
The doctor must necessarily examine the patient and prescribe therapy! In especially severe cases, hospitalization is recommended.
The tactics of treating a pinched nerve depends on the diagnosis. Usually, treatment is carried out in two parallel ways: measures are taken to relieve pain and therapy is carried out for the disease that caused the pinch.
Usually the doctor prescribes the following types of drugs:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory tablets to relieve inflammation, swelling, reduce pain. These include Ibuprofen, Aspirin.
- Non-hormonal ointments with anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect are applied to the sore spot – Voltaren, Karmolis, Finalgon, Betalgon, Viparin. The important thing is that any of these remedies relieves spasm and promotes muscle relaxation.
- A necessary element of treatment is the reception of a complex of vitamins of group B, for example, Trigamma. Such complexes reduce inflammation, pain, improve metabolism in the nervous tissue, contribute to the restoration and synthesis of the sheath of nerve fibers. Introduced intramuscularly.
If the usual methods do not help to stop the pain, spend Novocain blockade. Injections are made at the site of pain concentration.
After removing the main symptoms of pinched nerve, the doctor prescribes physiotherapy methods. With UHF, heat is applied to the affected area. With magnetic therapy – a magnetic field. Laser therapy is based on the influence of laser, phonophoresis – ultrasound. Effectively ultraviolet irradiation (UV). All these methods have anti-inflammatory, anti-edematous, analgesic effects. They relieve cramps and improve blood circulation.
The most common method is electrophoresis with Novocain or Mydocalm. Electric shock and simultaneous administration of the drug reduces inflammation, swelling, relieves pain, and relaxes muscle tissue.
The main property of paraffin waxes is the effect of heat on the skin. Warming for a long time, contributes to the release of toxins and their absorption into paraffin.
Non-drug therapies necessarily include massage. He is prescribed courses for 10-15 sessions 2 times a year during remission. Usually carried out by experts. In some cases, it is allowed to do light massage by non-specialists at home. In these cases, stroke, warm up the back muscles upward to the affected area. Later connected circular movements and grinding. It is necessary to remember about the prohibition to act on spastic muscles. Vibration and tapping are not allowed.
Acupressure can also be done at home, but very carefully. When it occurs, a different effect on certain parts of the back occurs in intensity and duration. It is better to entrust its implementation to specialists.
Exercise therapy and exercise
Sometimes even in the acute phase it is recommended to do simple gymnastics. So, the patient, lying on his back, moves his toes, strains his feet, pulls them towards himself.
The main complex is used after the removal of symptoms, is selected strictly individually. First performed with a doctor so that he can correct the correctness of the exercises.
The key to doing gymnastics is regularity. Exercises should be done smoothly, slowly, avoiding sudden movements.
After the symptoms disappear, you can start swimming. It is recommended to swim 3 times a week for 40 minutes. Occupations in the pool reduce the load on the spine, lead to the strengthening of the muscular system of the entire back, and avoid muscle atrophy of the affected areas.
Other methods of non-drug exposure
To maintain the back in the correct position and reduce the impact on the lumbar spine, special corsets are used.
Effective in the treatment of pinching of the nerve in the back is acupuncture. The principle of this method is similar to acupressure. Sometimes prescribed hirudotherapy (treatment with leeches).
In especially difficult cases, when the pain does not go away for a long time, an operation is indicated. Currently, there are several types of surgery:
- Microdiscatomy. Intervertebral hernia is removed.
- Laminectomy. A small part of the vertebral bone tissue located above the clamped nerve and part of the disc is removed. The space around the nerve expands, pinched nerves are released.
- Radiofrequency thermal annuloplasty. The outer tissues of the vertebrae are connected by a plate, as a result of which the holes disappear, through which the hernia can fall out.
- Puncture laser diskectomy. Part of the hernia is removed.
- Percutaneous automated disketomy. This operation partially removes the disc tissue.
- Facetomy. In the spine removed some fixed joints.
To relieve symptoms, traditional medicine is used. They can not be the main method of treatment. Apply them after consultation with a doctor.
Compresses are applied to painful areas:
- So, you can mix 15 ml of turpentine with egg white, shake, soak a piece of cloth. Compress to impose on the sore spot, wrap with a woolen scarf. Remove after the occurrence of pain, cleanse the skin and repeat the procedure after 6 hours. Apply compresses until the pain disappears.
- For the preparation of another compress take 200 g of grated horseradish and the same radish, add kerosene, a tablespoon of salt and vinegar. Insist the mixture for 10 days, after this period apply a compress for 1 hour.
Muscle relaxation and spasms help bath. For their preparation using various herbal decoctions, infusions of calamus roots, oak.
Rubbing the affected area with a tincture of bay leaves will help improve blood circulation. To prepare take 2 tablespoons of crushed bay leaves, insist them for 2-3 days for 200 ml of vodka.
Ingestion of fresh celery juice before eating will restore the nervous system. Wrung raw materials can be used for a compress.
The treatment started immediately, as soon as the first symptoms appear, the observance of preventive measures will lead in most cases to a successful cure and the absence of relapses.
Especially severe cases can lead to paralysis of the lower extremities, muscular atrophy, disruption of the organs located in the pelvic region.
In order to avoid the recurrence of pinching of the nerves, it is recommended:
- exercise regularly;
- follow correct posture when walking and in the workplace;
- follow the principles of proper nutrition;
- avoid hypothermia;
- fight excess weight;
- do not lift weights;
- treat spinal disorders.
Pinching of the nerve in the lower back is accompanied by severe pain, numbness of the limbs. With timely treatment and the use of preventive measures with a violation to cope easy. Ignoring medical recommendations can lead to serious consequences, such as paralysis.