Pinched nerve symptoms often come on fast, with a burning sensation that is hard to ignore. Sometimes, however, pinched nerve symptoms can be delayed for several days. It all depends on the individual, the type of pinch and the severity. A good example of this is whiplash, which generally sets in anywhere from two hours to two days after an accident.
Recognizing Pinched Nerve Symptoms
The exact symptoms of a pinched nerve depend on which nerves are affected. Nerves are generally pinched where they connect to the spine or to the neck, even though the pain is felt elsewhere. This is known as referred pain. Because pain associated with a pinched nerve is often referred, it's not always easy to detect the site of the pinched nerve.
The pain, tingling and numbness of a pinched nerve can mimic vascular obstructions, so it's important to seek medical attention to rule more serious causes, such as a heart attack or stoke. Pinched nerve symptoms range from numbness and loss of sensation to a debilitating, burning pain that often radiates down a leg or up an arm. Coughing and sneezing or moving quickly can cause the pain to worsen. A pinched nerve often makes it exceedingly difficult to walk, sit, participate in sports or other physical activities or operate a motor vehicle. Pinched nerves are often more painful when you try to sleep.
Finding Pinched Nerves
It's important to remember that the area that tingles or hurts generally isn't the site of the pinched nerve. There may be some numbness or pain in the nerve itself, but pain is generally felt downstream from the injury. The pain and tingling are caused by the inability of the brain's signals to travel through the nerve to the muscles.
Try these tips for relieving a pinched nerve and learn what causes nerves to get pinched.