Pinched Nerve (cont.)
Jason C. Eck, DO, MS
Dr. Eck received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Catholic University of America in Biomedical Engineering, followed by a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University. Following this he worked as a research engineer conducting spine biomechanics research. He then attended medical school at University of Health Sciences. He is board eligible in orthopaedic surgery.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Pinched nerve facts
- Introduction to pinched nerve
- What causes a pinched nerve?
- Pinched nerve in the neck or lower back
- Pinched nerve in the wrist or elbow
- Other causes of pinched nerve
- What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve?
- How is a pinched nerve diagnosed?
- How is a pinched nerve treated?
- What is a patent's prognosis for a pinched nerve?
- Find a local Neurologist in your town
How is a pinched nerve diagnosed?
The doctor will begin by asking the patient various questions about his or her pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and other symptoms. The patient may also be asked about other medical conditions, work history, and family medical history. This information can often assist in identifying the nerve(s) affected.
The doctor will then examine the part of the body involved. This may include testing the patient's strength, sensation, and muscle tone in specific muscles. Depending on the results of the medical history and the physical examination, the patient may need additional tests.
If the doctor suspects the patient has a pinched nerve (compression of the nerves) in the neck or lower back, X-rays may be necessary to assess possible injury to the spine or arthritis of the spine. Depending on the severity and duration of the patient's symptoms, he or she may also need a CT scan or an MRI scan. These imaging studies provide additional information about a pinched nerve not seen on regular X-rays, and can provide additional information in preparation for surgical intervention if necessary.
The doctor may also recommend specific tests for the affected nerve including a nerve conduction study or an electromyography (EMG). In the nerve conduction study, the test stimulates the nerves with a mild electrical impulse and measures speed of the impulse traveling in the nerve. In the EMG, a small needle is placed into the muscle while the patient contracts the muscle to measure the electrical activity of the muscles.
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