The Pinched Nerve … More than Just a Pain in the Neck

Pinched NerveIf you’ve ever suffered from a pinched nerve, you know exactly how painful it can be … the discomfort can be extreme and excruciating. That’s because a pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve in your body by surrounding tissues that can include bones … cartilage … muscles … or tendons.

When the pressure hits, the pain follows – quickly. It hurts, sometimes a lot … and it can be debilitating, forcing you off your feet and into bed or, at least, a straight-backed chair. Pinched nerves hurt … they’re incredibly discomforting and leave you pain-ridden and miserable. The pressure that causes the pinched nerve actually disrupts the nerve’s function and the resulting causes can be any of the following: pain, extreme or modest … tingling … numbness of the affected area … or weakness.

Whichever result you get from a pinched nerve, one thing is certain: you will not be happy. Worse yet, a pinched nerve can occur just about anywhere on your body. For example: a herniated disc in your lower back can put pressure on a nerve in that area, causing a pinched nerve in the back of your leg. The pain can be extreme and force you to stay off your feet … almost completely immobilized.

A pinched nerve in your wrist may not sound like it can lead to trouble for you, but it actually can create a very annoying problem – numbness in your fingers or hand. If you’ve ever experienced that sensation, you already know that it is frightening and disheartening … perhaps even terrifying. That may be because you know that numbness (when on the left side of the body) may be a symptom of a heart attack.

It is also the symptom of a pinched nerve which, while painful, is certainly the lesser of the two evils. But, you shouldn’t have to “choose your poison.” It’s better to avoid ever suffering from a pinched nerve, if possible. So what are the causes of a pinched nerve and is it possible for you to avoid them? The answer is: maybe yes, but probably no.

Pinched nerves are most commonly the result of injury, poor posture, osteoarthritis, stress related to your job or as a result of participation in sports … and obesity. If you are overweight, especially if you are grossly overweight, the chances are good that you will fall victim to a pinched nerve.

Now, it should be said that a pinched nerve is not life-threatening … it’s just painful. It is of course better to avoid getting a pinched nerve and the pain that always accompanies it. If you do get a pinched nerve, the good news for you will be that it takes about one week of rest to fully recover, in most cases. That is one week during which time you can watch TV, sleep … do as little as you want all day long or do nothing at all.

It sounds like a great way to “kill a week” … until you stop and remember that you have to spend that time “doing nothing” while you’re in pain. Is it worth it?  My answer is an emphatic no!

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