What is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve occurs when the nerve gets caught between two hard substances like a disc or bone in the back.
There are billions of nerves in the human body that run between the brain and body every second of the day. These nerves travel through the spinal cord. The spine also has bones, discs, and cartilage that surround the nerves. Nerves hold precious messages for the body so if the nerve is pinched this can be extremely painful to the upper, middle or lower back.
Keep in mind that nerves carry pain signals even in a healthy spinal cord. A pinched nerve becomes a chronic back pain condition when the nerve is compressed in a painful position between the surrounding bone or discs. Nerves are always traveling through the body, and pinched nerves cause nagging chronic back pain until the compressed nerve is finally released.
What Causes a Pinched Nerve?
The most common causes of a pinched nerve are:
- A herniated disc
- Repetitive motions that strain the back and spine
- Swelling that pushes against the spinal cord
- Holding the body in the same pose for long periods of time