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Orthopedic Care for a Pinched Nerve


The place where a nerve branches off the spinal cord and exits between two vertebrae is called the nerve root. The eight nerve roots in your neck control your muscles and feeling in different areas of your upper body and arms. A pinched nerve in the neck (cervical radiculopathy) occurs when a nerve root becomes compressed or irritated, causing pain and numbness. 

If you are living with pain from a pinched nerve that limits your ability to perform normal daily activities, make an appointment with a Dignity Health orthopedic specialist. We provide personal orthopedic care, sports medicine, and physical therapy at our hospitals and speciality centers.

If you have neck pain that you think is caused by a pinched nerve in the Bay Area, use our online Find a Doctor tool to find an orthopedic specialist who is right for you.

Pinched Nerve Symptoms

The most common symptom of a pinched nerve in the neck is pain that spreads from your neck to your shoulder or arm. Other signs and symptoms include tingling, numbness, and weakness in the same area of the hand, arm, or shoulder.

Causes of Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves are caused by problems with the spinal discs. These discs are located between each of the bones that make up the spinal column (vertebrae). They cushion the vertebral bones that allow the spine to bend and flex. 

There are two types of disc problems that can cause pinched nerves:

  • Degenerative disc disease, or osteoarthritis of the neck or back. As you age, the discs in your spine start to shrink and become more rigid, which reduces spinal flexibility and narrows the nerve root space in the spinal cord. That puts pressure on the nerves.
  • Slipped, herniated, or ruptured spinal disc. If a disc ruptures or tears, the gel-like center of the disc can start to leak out, pinching a nerve. This is the most common cause of pinched nerves in younger people.

Treatment & Prevention of Pinched Nerves in the Bay Area

Your treatment options will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how long you have had them. In most cases, a pinched nerve in the neck will not require any treatment, gradually resolving with time. 

If your symptoms do not improve, Dignity Health offers these nonsurgical treatments:

You can help prevent pinched nerves and reduce your risk of neck (cervical) disc problems by following these tips: 

  • Maintain good posture and keep your head in line with your shoulders and hips.
  • Strengthen your back, neck, and shoulder muscles.
  • Take frequent breaks during activity.
  • Use proper body mechanics while lifting.

Trust Dignity Health to help you find relief for all your neck conditions and injuries. Call 844.387.6324 for a doctor referral today.

Orthopedic specialists at Dignity Health offer expert care for pinched nerves in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.