Pinched Nerves

Board Certified Neurosurgeon: Minimally Invasive Spine and Cranial Surgeries
Pinched Nerves

Pinched Nerves services offered in Chattanooga, TN

Weakness and numbness in your arm or leg could be the first sign of a pinched nerve in your spine. Expert neurosurgeon David A. Wiles, MD, offers nonsurgical and surgical care for pinched nerve symptoms at his office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He uses advanced diagnostic testing to identify the source of nerve pressure and customizes a treatment plan to control your pain. If you’re struggling with pinched nerves, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Pinched Nerves Q&A

What are pinched nerves?

Pinched nerves result when inflammation or surrounding structures put too much pressure on a nerve. This pressure interferes with the function of your nerve and can lead to chronic pain, weakness, and numbness in the area served by the nerve.

There are several areas of your body where pinched nerves are common, including in your wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome) and in your spine. 

A pinched nerve in your spine can be the result of trauma or conditions such as:

  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Herniated discs
  • Persistent inflammation

A common problem caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back is a condition called sciatica, which results in pain and sometimes tingling and numbness. These symptoms are caused by pressure on your sciatic nerve, the large nerve that travels from your lumbar (lower) spine and down into each of your hips, legs, and feet.

If you don’t receive treatment for a pinched nerve, continued pressure can cause permanent nerve damage.

How are pinched nerves diagnosed?

During your diagnostic evaluation for pinched nerves, Dr. Wiles reviews your medical history and the location and severity of your pain.

He may request tests, such as an electromyography (EMG) that evaluates the electrical activity in your nerves. He might also need imaging tests, such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), to identify arthritis, a herniated disc, or other issues that put pressure on your nerves.

How do you treat pinched nerves?

Treating pinched nerves typically starts with lifestyle changes and conservative therapies like medications and physical therapy. Stretching exercises and weight loss can help take the pressure off your nerves and minimize your pain.

If your pain is severe enough to limit your ability to be active, Dr. Wiles may recommend therapies like:

Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroid injections deliver anti-inflammatory medications directly into the area of the nerve to provide you with long-term pain relief, so you can participate in physical therapy.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to destroy damaged nerves responsible for chronic pain. Treatment involves ablating (burning) the nerve to stop pain signals from traveling to your brain.

Spinal cord stimulation

Dr. Wiles may also recommend spinal cord stimulation to treat sciatica pain. This treatment involves an implantable stimulator device that delivers low currents of electricity into the spinal nerves to prevent them from traveling to your brain.

There are several high-quality brands of spinal cord stimulators available to accommodate your needs and help you better manage chronic lower back pain.

Learn more about which pinched nerve treatments are right for you by setting up a consultation with David A. Wiles, MD. Call the office or book an appointment online today.