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How Do Pinched Nerves Occur in My Back?

How Do Pinched Nerves Occur in My Back?

Your spinal cord is densely packed with nerves that allow your body and brain to communicate. Nerves enter and exit the spinal cord, branching out into your body's muscles. Many different factors can cause those nerves to become compressed or pinched. 

When a nerve in your back is pinched, it sends pain signals to your brain, resulting in persistent lower back pain. It may also cause numbness or weakness in your limbs. You should never ignore these warning signs. 

At aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics, our interventional pain management physician, Brian K. Rich, MD, has the necessary experience to treat a pinched nerve effectively. 

We offer comprehensive treatment options and always emphasize the least invasive treatment approaches. 

Symptoms of a pinched nerve

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a pulled muscle and a pinched nerve. Tingling or numbness is the most common pinched nerve symptom. Sometimes the sensation begins infrequently but becomes more frequent over time. 

Other symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

Severe pinched nerves can even cause muscle weakness. 

Causes of pinched nerves in the back

When too much pressure is applied to an area, the delicate nerves or surrounding tissues become pinched. Unfortunately, almost anything that increases pressure on the back nerves, including repetitive daily work, can result in a pinched nerve. 

How you hold your body, such as having poor posture can also cause a pinched nerve over time.

The following are some of the most common conditions that cause pinched nerves in the back:

Herniated or bulging disc

A herniated disc occurs when the soft jelly-like discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae rupture or become displaced, putting pressure on the spinal nerves. Injury, age-related changes to the spine, and excess weight can cause an intervertebral disc to herniate. 

Bone spurs

Bone spurs are bony growths that can form in the opening of nerve roots. When this happens the nerves become compressed because the space they travel through is too narrow. 


The swelling and inflammation caused by arthritis can have an impact on your spine and put pressure on nerve roots.

Spinal stenosis

When the spaces between the vertebrae become narrow, pressure is placed on the spinal cord and nerve roots. This most commonly happens in the lumbar spine (lower back).


In middle-aged and older adults, degenerative disc disease is a common cause of lower back pain. Degenerative changes can cause discs to shrink, become dry, and crack easily. 

Treating pinched nerves

A pinched nerve can heal on its own in some cases; in other cases, treatment is required.

Treatment options for a pinched nerve include:

The right treatment for you depends on your symptoms and the cause of your pinched nerve. In most cases, treatment begins with conservative options. Dr. Rich performs a thorough evaluation and discusses the recommended treatment options to help you get relief from chronic back pain. 

If you’re struggling with back pain, let our team at aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics help you get some much needed relief. Get started today by giving us a call to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Rich. Our offices are located in Southlake, Texas, and Lawton, Oklahoma.

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