Pinched Nerve Symptoms

Pinched Nerve Symptoms

Nerves can often be pinched as they exit the spine in the neck or back through the intervertebral foramen – openings between the vertebrae. This pinching can have number of causes.

More than just back pain

Symptoms of a pinched nerve often do not show up at location of the pinched nerve. Rather pinched nerve symptoms often radiate out from the location of compression and are felt in different part of the body depending which nerve is pinched.

  • A pinched nerve in the neck (the cervical spine) may cause symptoms to appear in the neck, arms, wrist, hand and fingers. For example a pinched nerve in neck at the C6 location can cause pain or numbness in the thumb, weakness in the wrist and/or weakness in the upper arm (biceps).
  • A pinched nerve in the middle part of the back (the thoracic spine) may cause symptoms to appear in the chest and abdomen.
  • A pinched nerve in the lower back (the lumbar spine) may cause symptoms to appear in the legs and buttocks.

Because of this variation there can be a wide range of pinched nerve symptoms.

Pinched nerve symptoms and signs include:

  • Pain in the area of where the nerve is pinched, e.g. the neck or lower back.
  • Radiating pain – sharp, aching or burning pain that radiates out from the neck or back, e.g. sciatica or radicular pain.
  • Numbness tingling or decreased sensation, often in the extremities.
  • A burning sensation or “pins and needles” sensations (paresthesia)
  • Muscle weakness in the back or extremities.

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