Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center
Allen Chu, MD, PhD
Neuromuscular Medicine Specialist & Sleep Medicine Specialist located in Greater Houston, TX
A pinched nerve can cause pain, numbness, and weakness as well as potential long-term nerve damage. If you have symptoms of a pinched nerve, contact Allen Chu, MD, PhD, at Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center, in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chu can provide expert diagnosis and treatment to release the pressure on your nerve and relieve your symptoms. Call or make an appointment online today.
What is a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve develops when inflammation or abnormalities in the surrounding bones, muscles, tendons, or cartilage press on the nerve. Pinched or compressed nerves are common in your spine, but can also develop at other points in your body including your wrists, elbows, shoulders, and other joints.
What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve?
Pinched nerves usually cause pain. Radiculopathy is the clinical term for the pain and other symptoms caused by a pinched nerve in your spine. Depending on the location of your pinched nerve you may also experience:
- Numbness or decreased sensation
- Sharp, aching, or burning pain
- Tingling sensations
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling like part of your body had “fallen asleep”
If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Chu to get to the root cause of your symptoms.
What causes a pinched nerve?
Inflammation is a common cause of nerve compression, although many conditions can lead to the swelling or compress the nerve directly. For example, any of the following conditions or injuries can cause pinched nerves.
- Herniated discs
- Damaged or thickened ligaments
- Repetitive motions
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Swollen tendons
Your risk of getting a pinched nerve increases if you’re a woman or if you have a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, or diabetes.
How is a pinched nerve diagnosed?
Dr. Chu provides comprehensive exams to identify the cause of your pain and the location of your pinched nerve. During your physical exam, he asks about your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, searching for clues about your injury.
He may also order other diagnostic tests such as MRIs, electromyograms, and nerve conduction studies to pinpoint the precise location of your compressed nerve.
What is the treatment for pinched nerves?
Dr. Chu also creates personalized treatment plans to relieve your symptoms and release the pinched nerve causing them. For example, he often combines anti-inflammatory medication with physical therapy to reduce the pressure on your nerve.
In severe cases, when conservative treatments aren’t effective, you may need surgery, spinal cord stimulation, or radiofrequency ablation treatments to relieve your nerve pain.
If you’re concerned about a pinched nerve or are suffering from any of these symptoms, call Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center or make an appointment online today.