Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do you relieve the pain associated with a pinched nerve?"
I think that the pain in my neck might be caused by a pinched nerve? How do you relieve the pain associated with a pinched nerve? Does it require surgery?
Pinched nerves anywhere in the spine can cause a significant degree of pain. The first step is to see your physician for a thorough history and exam. Neck or back pain can be caused by many different things, including several different problems with nerves or the bones in the spine. A good exam is key to determining the likely cause of the pain which then sets the stage for appropriate treatment. Depending upon your physician's conversation with you and physical exam results, he or she may want to do further imaging of your neck; additional testing of the nerves in the arm and hand; or possibly refer you to an orthopedic specialist. Depending upon the nature of the injury, surgical intervention can sometimes help. However, conservative management with rest; immobilization with a splint or brace; physical therapy; pain medications; and cortisone shots can often help symptoms resolve without the need for invasive surgery. In addition, physical therapy can help give you exercises that may help prevent symptoms from developing in the future. Surgery is often the option of last resort given the risks of any kind of surgical procedure. However, speaking with your physician and following through different treatment options will help determine if you may need surgery at some point. Hopefully you'll be feeling back to normal very soon!
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