Are you suffering sudden, sharp pain when you move in a certain way? Or weakness, numbness, aching, or burning down your arms or legs with no obvious cause? You may have a pinched nerve and may be wondering what kind of doctor treats a pinched nerve.
Pinched nerves can cause sudden pain or a slow-developing burn. They can make it hard to enjoy your regular activities, especially when you know that the slightest movement might trigger that stabbing pain when you least expect it.
A pinched nerve can be caused by a number of conditions, like arthritis, an injury, or strain. It can also be caused by repetitive movements. The pressure on a nerve can take years to build up or happen suddenly with one wrong move. You might experience a sudden, sharp pain when you move a certain way. Or it could be a gradual onset of weakness, numbness, or burning.
If rest, stretching, and over-the-counter pain medication don’t solve the problem, who do you call?
What kind of doctor treats a pinched nerve?
A physiatrist or neurosurgeon should be the first healthcare provider that comes to mind as a doctor for a pinched nerve. This is a painful condition that affects the nervous system, which is the pathway to the brain. A skilled specialist knows how to treat pinched nerves and their numerous causes.
A physiatrist is a doctor who is trained to treat pain – usually stemming from the spine. They also create physical therapy programs for their patients and can treat pain using state-of-the-art non-surgical treatments.
Neurosurgeons are also trained to treat pain in similar ways to a physiatrist, but they may help in other ways by performing surgeries to solve spine pain. Often, both types of doctors will work in the same practice. Their skills complement each other to provide a better outcome for their patients.
Physiatrists and neurosurgeons are the best doctors to treat pinched nerves due to their specialized training in the complicated system of nerves, spine, and pain pathways. That level of expertise helps ensure the best recovery from pinched nerves possible.
Where can a nerve be pinched?
A pinched nerve can be anywhere in the body, but most begin in the spine and can cause symptoms in other areas of the body.
A pinched nerve in your neck can cause numbness and pain down your shoulder and arm. If it originates in your lower back, the pain can radiate to your back, hips, buttocks, and down your legs.
A pinched nerve in your upper back is less common than in the upper or lower back, but it can cause pain and numbness in your chest area.
You can also have pinched nerves in your elbow, wrist, and hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common type of pinched nerve that can affect people who do repetitive tasks with their hands, like working on the computer or typing.
Why should I see a doctor?
If pressure on a pinched nerve is lasting, it can develop permanent damage and cause chronic pain. If it’s only pinched for a short time, it can return to normal. Your best chance of avoiding long-term problems and stopping the symptoms of a pinched nerve is to seek treatment.
Home treatment like resting the nerve or stretching the muscles around it may be enough to treat your situation. If your pain persists despite this, you may need a pinched nerve doctor to help you identify and treat the problem.
Don’t keep living with pain and continue wondering what kind of doctor treats a pinched nerve – schedule an appointment pinched nerve specialist today!