What is Nerve Compression?

Often called a “pinched nerve,” the most common type of nerve compression is carpal tunnel syndrome. However, nerve compression can affect other areas of the body. If you are experiencing symptoms such as numbness, pain, a tingling sensation, or muscle weakness, it is imperative to be diagnosed correctly. The Atlas Institute proudly offers its patients solutions for nerve compression in Denver.

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How Does Nerve Compression Happen?

Pressure on a nerve from the surrounding tissues, whether bone, cartilage, muscle, or tendons, will cause the nerve to produce the sensations of pain, tingling, or weakness. It can occur due to repetitive motions, the body being in a fixed position for a long period, such as seated, with legs crossed, or in an uncomfortable position during sleep. It can also occur during pregnancy, due to obesity, and some health disorders. A “pinched nerve,” or nerve compression, when lasting more than a few days, should be diagnosed, and treated. 

What Areas of the Body can be Affected by Nerve Compression?

The most common body areas affected by nerve compression include:

  • Hand
  • Wrist
  • Elbow
  • Fingers
  • Neck
  • Shoulder
  • Upper chest
  • Legs

What are the Symptoms of Nerve Compression?

The symptoms of nerve compression on various body areas include:

  • Hands and wrists: Numbness, tingling, pain, burning sensations, weakness, trouble picking up or grasping objects
  • Elbow: Numbness, tingling, weakness in hand, changes in finger coordination, muscle wasting
  • Shoulder: Burning or shooting pain in the neck, shoulders, or arm, pain turning the neck, tingling in fingers, muscle weakness, loss of sensation
  • Abdomen: Sharp abdominal pains, tenderness, pain radiating from abdomen to back, pain when coughing lifting, stretching
  • Legs: Lower back pain, traveling to back of thigh, lower leg pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, burning sensation
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What are the Treatments for Nerve Compression?

The first step in a successful treatment is diagnostic testing. The Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care in Denver is equipped with advanced nerve testing protocols, including ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, CT scan, MR neurography, nerve conduction studies, and EMG (electromyogram). After nerve compression is diagnosed, the treatments will reflect the extent of the problem, and whether it could heal with non-surgical treatments, or can’t be resolved completely without surgical intervention. The treatments include:

  • Exercises: An exercise program may be effective in helping to release the pressure on a pinched nerve, including stretches.
  • Avoiding the repetitive motions that caused the condition: This can be difficult for patients who have developed carpal tunnel syndrome due to work. 
  • Application of heat and cold: Cold and hot compresses applied to the area can reduce the symptoms.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: If the nerve pressure is the result of pressure from surrounding tissues, these medications can reduce swelling and irritation.
  • Steroid injections: A corticosteroid injection may be administered.
  • Painkillers: When rest is the advised treatment, pain medications can be prescribed, or over the counter medications taken for comfort during healing.
  • Decompression surgery: Some types of nerve compression must be surgically treated with surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
  • Thoracic outlet decompression: This delicately performed surgery releases the pressure on the nerves at the collar bone.
  • Carpal tunnel release: Endoscopic carpal tunnel release allows the wrist’s “tunnel” through which nerves and blood vessels travel, to be opened so the nerves are free from pressure. 
  • Suprascapular nerve decompression: This procedure releases shoulder pain due to a compressed suprascapular muscle located in the shoulder.
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Why Choose The Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care for a Compressed Nerve?

Treatments for compressed nerves have advanced over the years. Many conditions can be treated without surgery, while others will require surgical intervention. At The Atlas Institute, our nerve doctors use advanced techniques, with shorter incisions, to relieve pressure on veins and restore comfort to the patient. Our state-of-the-art facility was established to provide patients with a superior outcome, and freedom from the pain or discomfort associated with compressed nerves. 
The goal is for patients to be able to look and function beautifully through thoughtful and meticulously performed surgery, and relief from the symptoms of the nerve condition, whether pain, numbness, or loss of function. For a medical team and practice fully equipped to treat nerve compression in Denver, meet with our specialists at The Atlas Institute.

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