Too much constant or repetitive pressure on different areas of the body can aggravate nerves. A condition called nerve compression syndrome could develop under these circumstances. Without intervention, symptoms or even permanent damage could result.
Seeking the appropriate medical attention, however, is key and can usually relieve discomfort for a patient experiencing a form of this nerve issue.
What Is It?
Nerve compression syndrome occurs if a nerve somewhere in the body has been trapped in some way. Many people develop the condition from certain sleeping positions, work-related repetitive stress, or even injuries like sprains. Entrapment of a nerve can occur if blood flow or swelling affects a specific nerve. Actual physical changes to the structure of the surrounding tissue or bone can also impact its function. The typical symptoms associated with this condition include weakness or numbness in the region of the body with the trapped nerve. Other signs of compression that may be experienced could involve:
- Signs of inflammation
- Tingling sensations
- Limited range of motion
- Swelling, redness, or pain
Who Is at Risk?
Certain circumstances can make someone more susceptible to the development of nerve compression syndrome. Repetitive motions, such as playing the piano or typing, could be responsible for the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome, a form of nerve compression syndrome. In other cases, an underlying health problem, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or some cancerous tumors, can trigger nerve compression. Tests, such as an MRI or an ultrasound, may be administered to narrow down an accurate diagnosis.
When to Seek Care
Anyone worried about nerve compression syndrome may want to consult with a medical professional. During the consultation, a discussion pertaining to specific risk factors, such as age, gender, occupation, or health history, can be reviewed as a diagnosis is made. Treatment plans may vary since nerves can be affected in different areas of the body. Simple lifestyle changes may be effective for some patients. For example, stopping or limiting the repetitive stress that has been identified as the cause of nerve compression may encourage relief from symptoms. The therapeutic management of related health concerns should be initiated as well. Additional approaches for noninvasive treatments might include medications for inflammation and pain, physical therapy, or certain assistive equipment, such as a leg brace.
Some patients may benefit from a surgical solution. A thorough examination should highlight important factors, including how severe the symptoms have been and for how long. Depending on the results of the exam, surgery could be recommended for finding relief. Expectations regarding the procedure and recovery can be discussed during the consultation so the medical professional and patient can make a decision as to whether or not a surgical approach could be helpful.
Leaving an entrapped nerve untreated has the potential to lead to permanent damage in some cases. Fortunately, a range of treatment options offers patients with nerve compression syndrome hope for restoring quality of life. In the event that a diagnosis is made regarding the condition, good care by an appropriate professional could relieve symptoms and encourage the return of painless normal activity.