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Diagnosing a Pinched Nerve in Southern California

A pinched nerve, also called cervical radiculopathy, occurs when the nerve root is irritated or compressed. The root of the nerve branches away from the spinal cord and exits between two vertebrae. Each of the nerve roots in the neck control muscles or feeling in different parts of the arms and upper body. A pinched nerve can cause severe pain and discomfort. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage. 

The orthopedics team at Dignity Health Southern California hospitals can help with our personal care. If discomfort is limiting your daily activities, get treatment for a pinched nerve in Southern California by using our search tool to Find a Doctor.

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve

The most common pinched nerve symptoms include: 

  • Neck pain that travels down the arm or shoulder
  • Tingling and weakness
  • Numbness 

If you or a loved one has symptoms of a pinched nerve, meet with an orthopedic doctor at Dignity Health Southern California for diagnosis and personalized treatment.

Causes of a Pinched Nerve

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

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

  • Arthritis, or degenerative disc disease. This condition happens with aging and causes the spinal discs to shrink and become rigid. This reduces flexibility in the spine and narrows the nerve root space, putting pressure on the nerves.
  • Slipped, herniated, or ruptured spinal disc. This occurs when the gel-like center of a spinal disc starts seeping out. This action can pinch off a nerve. It is the most common reason for pinched nerve in younger people.

Treatment for a Pinched Nerve at Dignity Health Southern California

Pinched nerve treatment will depend on the extent of your symptoms and how long you have had them. In most cases, a pinched nerve will clear up on its own. If your symptoms have not improved, doctors at Dignity Health Southern California may prescribe a soft collar or brace to be worn around the neck for support. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help strengthen neck muscles. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed.

If nonsurgical methods are not enough, minimally invasive neck surgery can be performed to help alleviate pressure on the nerve and stop further damage.

You can learn more about treatment for a pinched nerve by visiting one of our hospitals in Southern California. 

Orthopedic doctors at Dignity Health Southern California offer a wide range of therapies and treatments for neck problems, including a pinched nerve, in Arizona.