A pinched nerve, also known as a compressed nerve, occurs when a nerve sustains excess pressure applied by the surrounding bones, muscles, cartilage, or tendons. The pressure affects the nerve’s function and triggers symptoms ranging from sharp pain and numbness of the skin to weakness and tingling. If left untreated, a pinched nerve can cause severe complications, including permanent nerve damage.
Knowing the risk factors of a pinched nerve is a great way to understand whether you’re at risk of sustaining a more severe injury. Here are the top three risk factors that no one should take lightly:
Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis cause inflammation that can easily compress nerves and result in a pinched nerve. Osteoarthritis also causes bone spurs that stiffen the spine and narrow nerve openings. If you have a history of arthritis, we strongly recommend consulting your doctor and undergoing diagnostic tests for the detection of a pinched nerve.
Excess weight increases the risk of a pinched nerve by placing immense pressure on the nerves. It’s also important to note that sudden weight gain caused by pregnancy also puts you at risk of developing a pinched nerve.
As the nerve pathways swell, the nerves can easily get compressed. In addition, if you have diabetes, the high levels of fat and sugar in your blood can damage your nerves, putting you at an even higher risk.
A sedentary lifestyle puts excess pressure on the spine and back. As you sit or lie down for prolonged periods, the nerve tissue of your spinal bones will sustain continued pressure and get damaged. If you continue your sedentary habits for a long period, you could potentially develop compressed nerves.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more and more people have developed sedentary habits. While this major lifestyle change may not show signs right away, the damage may begin to take its toll on your body in the long run. If you feel chronic back pain of any kind, see your doctor. It’s never too late to start exercising and end your sedentary habits before the damage crystallizes.
TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital can help athletes of all levels. We focus on each patient’s treatment and recovery to ensure that their experience at our back and spine facility in Houston is excellent and compassionate. If you suffer from back pain, you can find an orthopedic and spine specialist who can help on our website. Simply click on their profile and make your appointment directly with their office.