The quick answer is a pinched nerve means that there is some compression on the nerve itself.
This may be the result of repetitive motions, like extending your back multiple times in a row while gardening or holding one positioning for a long time, like when you are bending forward to fix the kitchen sink. But where are nerves, and how does this relate to your lower back pain? In the spine, some discs run between each of the vertebrae. Watch this VIDEO on why back pain can't wait.
These disks have a risk of “bulging” or pushing through or around the ligaments on the sides of the vertebrae and causing compression on to the nerve. This situation is typically considered a disk herniation or, more commonly called a pinched nerve in the lower back.
When a pinched nerve or herniated disc happens, you could experience pain in the lower back, low back hip pain, or even pain that travels down the leg.
Specifically, when there is compression or pinching on one of the sciatic nerve's nerve roots, this is considered sciatica. Sciatica is a common diagnosis for those with lower back pain. It is more of a symptom than a condition, as it is referring to lower back and low back hip pain that travels into the buttocks and down the leg.
A herniated disk or pinched nerve is commonly described by a patient who has pain that is deep and sharp in nature. They report that the pain gets worse as it moves down the leg. A person with a herniated disk may or may not have lower back pain, specifically, but will most likely have limitations in range of motion and painful gait with walking.
Most of the time, Lower Back Pain or a "Pinched Nerve" in the lower back resolves in 6 to 10 weeks. The inflammation which causes the pain typically calms in that time. In some cases, the pain may last longer and may have more severe symptoms, such as loss of sensation or strength in the part of the leg.
When this happens, most people ask what to do for a pinched nerve in the lower back or fix a pinched nerve in the lower back. The quick answer for what to do for a pinched nerve in the back, how to fix a pinched nerve in the lower back, or how to fix a pinched nerve in the lower back, for most, is activity modification. This is the same for nerve pain in the back and hip. Gentle movements and good body mechanics may decrease pressure on nerve structures and provide are a back pain remedy.
Patients with lower back pain resulting from a pinched nerve or herniated disk are encouraged to keep moving, consider anti-inflammatories and seek physical therapy for appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises.
Physical therapy activities are focused on flexibility and core stabilization. The flexibility of the hamstrings, hip flexors, and piriformis is important to decrease the spine's stress. Care must be taken when stretching with a pinched nerve so that there is no incidental Sciatic Nerve Stretch, which may increase pain. Core stabilization activities are equally as important to aid in reducing shearing forces on the spine. Stabilization exercises are some of the best exercises to help relieve the pinched nerve in your lower back. If you need physical therapy, JOI Rehab can help!
If conservative options do not help, injections of corticosteroids may help to decrease the pain. Surgery is an option for severe situations if non-surgical options do not work.
JOI now offers Fast Track Spine Care. With a Physician referral, patients can now begin conservative care at JOI immediately...even before their Spine Orthopedic Specialist appointment.
Watch this VIDEO on JOI Fast Track Spine Care.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. To schedule an appointment with an Orthopaedic Spine Specialist, call 904-JOI-2000 or click below. During this pandemic, please give us a call with any orthopedic injury to avoid the emergency room.