Pinched Nerve Neck

Pinched Nerve Neck

Neck pain can be caused by numerous things but often it is attributed, rightly or wrongly, as being due to a pinched nerve in the neck. A trapped nerve is often the first thing people think of when experiencing shooting sharp neck pain, or paraesthesia, but those symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions that are impacting the nerve, such as spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, bone spurs and other problems of the nervous system.

The nervous system is highly complex and, as with any complex system, there are lots of ways things can go wrong, particularly in the cervical area where so many nerves and other structures compete for space. Simple inflammation due

to an infection or trauma elsewhere in the body, such as whiplash, may precipitate the symptoms of a pinched nerve as the tissues around it also become inflamed. Overstretching or twisting awkwardly may nudge a nerve slightly out of place, causing discomfort until it repositions itself.

Diagnosis and treatment of pinched nerves may involve selective nerve root blocks to isolate the problematic nerve root and provide temporary relief from pinched nerve pain. Longer term solutions may involve cervical spine surgery, although anti-inflammatory medications and spinal manipulation are likely to be the first recourse of most physicians.

Last Updated: 10/04/2010