The term pinched nerve refers to a condition in which a nerve is pressed by its surrounding tissues (bones, cartilage, muscles, etc.) and its normal function has been disrupted because of the pressure.
Pain, numbness or tingling, and a pins and needles type sensation are common signs that would suggest the possibility of a pinched nerve.
Nerve compression can occur in many locations throughout your body. Typical sites include your lower spine (lumbar region) and neck (cervical region). A pinched nerve in the back often results in sciatica, or pain that radiates down to the back of your legs. A pinched nerve in the neck or back may cause radiating pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
Nerve compression is not restrained to spinal nerve roots alone. For example, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, pain and numbness in your hand and fingers.
Generally, there is no need to be worried about symptoms that are around for only a short time. If a nerve is compressed for only a short time, it generally doesn’t cause permanent damage. And once the pressure is relieved, normal nerve functions are restored. However, if the symptoms stay for a long time and the pinched nerve is not relieved, much more serious symptoms such as chronic pain, nerve death, or muscle atrophy could occur.