Pinched Nerve Symptoms, Treatments & More

By diane
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Pinched Nerve.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Sept. 2019,
  • 2. 'Pinched Nerves: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.' Cleveland Clinic,
  • 3. 'Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve) - OrthoInfo - AAOS.' OrthoInfo, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons,
  • 4. 'Pinched Nerves: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.' Cleveland Clinic,
  • 5. 'Pinched Nerve.' Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford,
  • 6. 'What Are the Symptoms of a Pinched (Compressed) Nerve?' Stanford Health Care (SHC) - Stanford Medical Center, 16 May 2019,
Medical Expert Medical Expert

A pinched nerve, or radiculopathy, is a common condition that affects around 85 of every 100,000 adults in the United States every year. It occurs when a nerve in the body gets compressed by bones, muscles, tendons or other tissues surrounding it.1‘Pinched Nerve.’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Sept. 2019,

Excess pressure on a nerve disrupts how it functions. That's why people with pinched nerves often experience concerning symptoms such as pain, tingling or numbness. Although a pinched nerve can be very uncomfortable, most people get better with self-care measures and time. When symptoms don't improve, it's important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

1. Anatomy of a Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves usually originate in the neck, upper middle back or lower back.2‘Pinched Nerves: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.’ Cleveland Clinic, However, compression can happen anywhere along the course of nerve branches that spread throughout the body.

Oftentimes, the symptoms of a pinched nerve aren't felt at the actual spot where a nerve is compressed, but some distance away. For example, someone with a pinched nerve in their lower back might feel pins and needles in their toes. It's also common for someone with a pinched nerve in their neck to feel pain or burning that travels down the arm.

Pinched Nerve

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