(HealthNewsDigest.com) – A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure can cause pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.
A pinched nerve can occur in many areas throughout the body. For example, a herniated disk in the lower spine may put pressure on a nerve root. This may cause pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome).
With rest and other conservative treatments, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks. Sometimes, surgery is needed to relieve pain from a pinched nerve.
Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:
- Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
- Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
- Tingling, pins and needles sensations (paresthesia)
- Muscle weakness in the affected area
- Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”
The problems related to a pinched nerve may be worse when you’re sleeping.
When to see a doctor
See your health care provider if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last for several days and don’t respond to self-care measures, such as rest and over-the-counter pain relievers.