Are you suffering from sudden numbness or sharp pain? You could have a pinched nerve. The phrase “pinched nerve” is not a medical term, but it is still widely used to refer to an injury of the nerves. Sometimes, the nerves in the body become constricted, stretched, or compressed, which all lead to discomfort.
A pinched nerve is quite common in the neck or lower back. Many people report feeling a pins and needles sensations or sharp pain. However, sometimes the discomfort arises from something else, so it is important to know what to watch for and when you should seek the help of a qualified physician.
7. Risk Factors for a Pinched Nerve
You can experience a pinched nerve at any age, but there are certain risk factors that put you at an increased risk of the compression.
- Sex: Women develop carpal tunnel syndrome more frequently than men because they have small carpal tunnels.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, then the inflammation can quickly compress the nerves, especially those located near your joints.
- Bone spurs: Trauma leads to bone thickening, which causes bone spurs to occur. The bone spurs can narrow the space where your nerves regularly travel and stiffen the spine, which all cause pinching of the nerves.
- Thyroid disease: People who suffer from thyroid disease appear to be at an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Overuse: Certain professions and hobbies might require frequent movements of the shoulder, wrist, or hand. This is especially true for people who work on an assembly line. The frequent, repetitive motions increase their risk of developing a pinched nerve.
- Diabetes: Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes put you at a greater danger of nerve compression.
- Obesity: Excessive weight gain places pressure on the nerves in the body.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy acts in the same way as obesity by placing extra pressure on the nerves and their pathways.
- Prolonged bed rest: If you spend an excessive amount of time in bed, then you risk nerve compression.
6. Pinched Nerve Symptoms
It is human nature to worry any time something goes wrong with the body. Below are the main symptoms of a pinched nerve:
- Sharp pain
- Burning sensation
- Decreased sensation
- Pins and needles
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced range of motion
- Feeling like your hand or foot has fallen asleep
Often, when you sleep, the odd pains and the discomfort becomes worse after the prolonged period of rest.