A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure disrupts the nerve’s function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.
The pinched nerve on the back can be due to several problems. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Other conditions that may cause the tissue to compress a nerve or nerves, including:
- Stress from repetitive work
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hobbies or sports activities
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:
- Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
- Tingling, pins and needles sensations (paresthesia)
- Muscle weakness in the affected area
- Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
- Frequent feeling that a foot has “fallen asleep”
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?
See your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last for several days and don’t respond to self-care measures, such as rest and over-the-counter pain relievers.