Spinal nerve entrapment, also called pinched nerve or compressed nerve, is a kind of medical condition where a nerve in the spinal cord is compressed, damaged or irritated. It occurs because of pressure from nearby structures, such as bones, herniated discs, ligaments or muscles. This compression can result in several symptoms and discomfort based on the location of the nerve and the cause behind it.

Causes of Spinal nerve entrapment

Herniated discs

Intervertebral discs sometimes become herniated, and the internal gelatinous material of the discs comes out. This causes pressure on the neighboring nerves.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is when the spinal cord narrows and compresses the spinal nerves. It happens because of aging, any congenital conditions or degenerative causes.


Some of the injuries arising from trauma, such as fractures or spinal dislocations, can lead to compression of nerves.

Bone spurs

Also called osteophytes, bone spurs can grow on the spinal vertebrae because of conditions such as osteoarthritis. These bony growths can impinge on the space where the nerves leave the spinal cord, resulting in compression.

Degenerative discs

Ageing can cause the breaking down of the spinal discs, called degenerative discs, thus leading to compression of nerves.


Spinal nerve entrapment symptoms depend on the location of the nerve that is affected. However, here are some of the common symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Tingling

The above symptoms might radiate in the nerve path, migrating to other body areas.

Diagnosis and treatment of spinal nerve entrapment

Spinal nerve entrapment is diagnosed by doing a proper physical examination and assessing the patient’s medical history. It also includes medical imaging studies such as X-rays and CT scans for visualization of the spine structures and for pinpointing the source of entrapment.

Treatment of spinal nerve entrapment mainly aims to alleviate its symptoms, reducing the inflammation and addressing the cause. Some of the standard treatment options are:

Resting and modification of activity

Decreasing activities that usually exacerbate the symptoms and facilitating the area that is affected to heal is a significant approach to the treatment of spinal nerve entrapment.


Based on severity and condition, doctors often recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines and pain relievers, along with corticosteroid injections.


Certain severe cases of nerve compression might need surgical intervention. This involves discectomy, removing herniated disc material, laminectomy or removal of part of the vertebrae to create space for nerves.

The treatment plan mainly depends on the condition, symptoms and cause of the entrapment. Early diagnosis and correct management can result in substantial relief and enhanced life quality for individuals suffering from spinal nerve entrapment.


Nerves extending from the brain and spinal cord send vital messages throughout your body. When you have an entrapped spinal nerve, your body might send signals like pain. So you must pay attention to those body signals, as damages can be severe, sometimes causing long-lasting issues. The earlier you go for diagnosis and start treating nerve compression, the quicker you will get relief from symptoms. Though in many cases, it’s not possible to reverse the whole damage caused by a pinched nerve, timely treatment can help in getting relief from pain and various other symptoms.

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Vertebrae are the bones in your spine that are fused by articulations. They not only protect your spinal cord but also facilitate axial loading and support the limbs. Vertebral fractures occur because of wrong axial loading and dislocations due to trauma, falls, bone diseases, infection, or metastasis.


Spinal hematoma is a condition in which blood accumulates, which compresses the nerve roots present near the spine or sometimes the spinal cord. It is a matter of concern when blood collects anywhere in the body. But it is even more problematic when it collects near the spine. The compression that it causes is serious and must be treated as quickly as possible.


A vast majority of the nerves in our body pass through the long spinal cord to reach several parts of the body. One such nerve is the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve exits the spinal cord, it supplies the hip joints and the legs. This nerve ends at the toes. Due to its long path, the chances of damage increase proportionally, leading to a condition called sciatica. At the same, since the path is long, in case of damage, the entire leg might be affected. Read on to learn more about the causes and symptoms of sciatica, and its treatment and risk factors.


The spine is a large organ of our body, which plays a major role in holding our body together. It plays a key role in helping us sit upright, walk erect and conduct various other physical activities. With such high usage and requirements, the chances of common spine problems increase even more


A herniated disc occurs when the spinal disc's soft center or nucleus comes out from the case. This impacts nerves close to it, causing pain, weakness and numbness in the limbs. But if the disc does not pressure nerves, it will not cause pain. A herniated disc is also called a slipped or bulging disc.


Dr Naveen Tahasildar has been treating the whole spectrum of spinal disorders from cervical spine to sacrum by non-operative and operative means using cutting edge technology. These patients include national as well as international from all parts of the world.

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