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How Do You Get A Pinched Nerve in the Spine?

A pinched nerve can be very painful. If you get a pinched nerve in the spine it can lead to neck, shoulder, arm, back, or leg pain. But how do you get a pinched nerve in the spine?

how do you get a pinched nerve in the spine?

Spinal Cord and Nerves

One of the critical functions of the spine is to protect the important nerves that run through the center of the spinal column. The spinal cord carries information from the brain to the rest of the body. It also carries messages from the body, back to the brain. Without this function we wouldn’t be able to move the different parts of our body or experience any feeling in them.

As you travel down the spine from the neck, nerves form from the spinal cord and emerge from various openings in the spine. These nerves then travel to various parts of the body. Nerves exiting the spine from the upper part of the spine travel to the arms. In the center of the spine nerves emerge and go to the torso. Nerves that emerge from the lower spine travel to the legs.

Because all the nerves in the body start out in the spine, pressure on the nerves in the spine can cause pain in many parts of the body. Therefore, a pinched nerve in the neck can cause shoulder, elbow and arm pain. Or, a pinched nerve in the lower back can cause what’s called sciatica, shooting pains down the legs.

Causes of Pinched Nerves in the Spine

So what causes a pinched nerve in the spine? Here are some potential causes.

Herniated Disc

In between each vertebrae of the spine are gelatinous discs.  As you age, these discs can dry out and deteriorate. If the outer layers of the disc rupture, the disc material can bulge or leak out into the spinal column. A bulging or herniated disc can often put pressure, or “pinch” the spinal cord or a spinal nerve.

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs (also known as osteophytes) are protrusions that form on the ends of your bones. These can be caused by osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease and can occur on bones throughout your body. When bone spurs form on the vertebrae of your spine, they can cause pinched nerves.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal. Remember, this canal houses the spinal cord. So, if the canal is narrowed by protruding disc material or bone overgrowth, the spinal cord inside the canal can become pinched.

Pinched Nerve in the Spine

Whatever the cause of the pinched nerve in your spine it can be painful. The doctors at Saratoga Spine can help you determine the cause of your pain and work with you to develop a treatment plan that makes sense. If you think you have a pinched nerve, set up an appointment today.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery