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How long does a pinched nerve last? Chances are, it goes on for longer than you think.
As a general rule, the recovery timeline depends on what’s causing pressure on the nerve. Temporary cases will be over in a few days, but serious ones can take weeks. Oftentimes, seeking treatment can dramatically speed up recovery.
If you suspect you have a pinched nerve, you should take it seriously. Here’s how to diagnose a pinched nerve and where to go from there.
How Long Does a Pinched Nerve Last?
You can figure out the location of the pinched nerve by your symptoms. Here’s what to expect from a pinched nerve in your neck, shoulder, and lower back.
A pinched nerve in your neck can be a result of injuries, sleeping position, and repetitive movements. it can cause pain and a tingling sensation, which may spread to your arms and shoulders. This type of pain is acute and eases within a few days.
Shoulder pain usually originates in your upper spine as a result of an injury, arthritis, and tendonitis. The pain usually occurs in one shoulder only. If left untreated, arthritis or tendonitis can lead to chronic pain that lasts for months.
The main causes of a pinched nerve in your lower back are the herniated disks that compress your nerve roots. The common symptoms are sharp pain and sciatica. If the pain doesn’t go away after a few days, it may be chronic.
Treating a pinched nerve is all about alleviating pain, numbness, and discomfort. You can get started by using several home remedies.
For example, ice packs and heating pads can help with pain and inflammation. Use them anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour. Acetaminophens, NSAIDs, and other over-the-counter pain medications can be a big help as well.
You can also do things like adjusting your sleep position and posture. Light stretches for the affected area can help encourage movement and blood flow. Whatever method you decide to use, it’s recommended you start the treatment early.
When to See a Doctor
With some luck, the above remedies will be enough to solve the issue. Sometimes, though, you’ll need to undergo further treatment.
If your symptoms are severe or last longer than a few days, go see a doctor. Do the same if the pinched nerve pain keeps coming back.
Your doctor may run an EMG test to check your nerves’ condition. Here’s everything to know about this test.
When it comes to how to fix a pinched nerve, your doctor may order physical therapy. This includes exercises you can do at home to help decrease nerve compression. You may also need a splint, stronger drugs, or surgery.
More on Dealing With Pinched Nerves
As you can see, pinched nerves aren’t fun to deal with. Even once it’s treated, a pinched nerve may come back if pressed by the same body tissues. You can prevent this by losing weight, maintaining a good posture, and taking movement breaks.
Still wondering, “How long does a pinched nerve last?” Interested in some of the less common pinched nerve symptoms? Keep reading our Health & Fitness section!