Ouch! A pinched nerve in your back can cause persistent pain and limit mobility.
Radiculopathy is another name for this condition, which arises when a nerve root is injured at the point where it exits the spine. If your pain is in your lower back, this is known as lumbar radiculopathy, and if it strikes your upper back, the condition is called thoracic radiculopathy. Lumbar radiculopathy is the most common type, however.
As a board-certified neurosurgeon with extensive experience treating patients with pinched nerve pain that originates in the back, Dr. Benjamin Cohen offers a wide range of treatments to ease the associated symptoms, which unfortunately can extend beyond just back pain. His expertise and concern for your well-being and comfort let you know he’s deeply invested in your long-term recovery.
A pinched nerve in your back can happen easily
Even though your spine is remarkable in enabling so much movement, it can affect your quality of life when things go awry, like a pinched nerve. Some of the many back problems that can lead to a pinched nerve include:
- A herniated disc (the “shock absorbers” between your vertebrae)
- Bone spurs
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal fractures, either from an accident or osteoporosis
- A spinal tumor
In addition to these conditions, you can suffer a pinched nerve in your back simply by performing repetitive motions or standing for long periods. Your discs also degenerate with age, which can lead to a pinched nerve.
Many symptoms can emerge if you have a pinched nerve, and their severity depends on the specific condition or injury causing it. You may experience:
- Back pain that extends to your leg or foot
- Pain that’s exacerbated by activities like coughing or sitting for longer periods
- Leg weakness
- Leg or foot numbness or tingling
To gain relief from these symptoms, there are things you can do at home and treatments that Dr. Cohen can provide.
How to address a pinched nerve in your back
Your first-line strategies to relieve pinched nerve pain at home include icing your back when your pain first appears, taking over-the-counter pain medications, using heat therapy after the pain subsides a bit, and simply resting.
Shifting your position periodically, not sitting or reclining for long periods, and being mindful of your posture can also help mitigate the discomfort.
If your symptoms persist or worsen and you visit Dr. Cohen, he may recommend other treatments, including:
- Prescription pain medication
- Corticosteroid injections
- Physical therapy
If these treatments are unsuccessful, a surgical solution may help, depending on the underlying condition compressing your nerve. He may advise:
- Artificial disc replacement
- Disc removal
- Spinal fusion, where a bone graft is applied between vertebrae and the bones
- Discectomy to remove or trim a herniated disc
- Decompressive laminectomy, which creates space by removing the top of the vertebra
- Foraminotomy, which expands the opening where your nerves leave your spine
- Revision spine surgery, which corrects problems from an earlier surgery
- Lumbar vertebral body replacement, fractured bone removal replaced with a graft
- Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures that treat compression fractures
- Decompression, sometimes with fusion, to treat pain from spinal tumors
- Spinal decompression, fusion, or reconstruction that addresses scoliosis pain
When Dr. Cohen performs surgery, he makes every effort to make it minimally invasive. This technologically advanced procedure requires only small incisions instead of a single long one, which is less traumatic to the body.
Minimally invasive surgery is associated with faster healing and reduced pain, bleeding, scarring, and risk of post-procedure infection.
If you’re tired of back pain from a pinched nerve, don’t suffer any longer or risk future complications. Call our Garden City office at 516-246-5008 to schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment, or contact us online.