Pinched Nerve

What Are the Signs of a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve is no laughing matter. Some 20 million Americans annually experience the discomfort, numbness, or shooting pain that accompanies this problem.

What causes pinched nerves?

Dehydration, overuse, and muscle weakness are often culprits. But anything that puts pressure on your nervous system can lead to symptoms.

There are several common types of nerve damage that often lead to a pinched nerve, including carpal tunnel syndrome and brachial plexus injuries. The location of your symptoms is also important.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through all of the signs of a pinched nerve and what you can do about it. Keep reading for the lowdown!

Pinched Nerve

Feeling Pain

There are a few signs that may indicate a pinched nerve. The most common symptom is pain, which is often described as sharp and shooting.

Usually, these symptoms occur on one side of the body. The pain is often worse at night and may make it difficult to sleep.

If you have a pinched nerve in your neck, the symptoms may radiate down the arm. If the nerve is pinched in the lower back, the symptoms may radiate down the leg.

Pinched nerves can be treated with rest, ice, and heat. However, if the symptoms persist, it is best to see a doctor. Visit for more info on treating neck pain.


One of the most common signs of a pinched nerve is feeling numb. This can occur in any part of the body but is most commonly felt in the hands, feet, or arms.

In severe cases, a person may lose feeling in the affected area entirely. A pinched nerve can be resolved with simple at-home treatments, but in other cases, more aggressive medical treatment may be necessary.

It’s important to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose and treat the problem.


Another sign of a pinched nerve is tingling, which is caused by the nerve being compressed. This is commonly felt in the fingers, toes, or arms.

Tingling is caused by the compression of the nerve, which prevents the nerve from sending signals properly. It can happen when the nerve is pinched between two bones, when it’s pinched by a muscle, or when it’s been damaged by an injury.

The tingling may be intermittent or constant, and it may worsen with movement.

Muscle Weakness

This occurs when the nerve is compressed or irritated, causing the muscle to weaken. The nerve is not able to send the proper signals to the muscles, causing them to not function correctly.

This can result in the muscle not working as well as it normally would.  The muscle weakness itself may cause difficulty with movement or muscle wasting. 

In some cases, the affected nerve may also affect blood flow or cause changes in blood pressure.

Signs of a Pinched Nerve

If you are experiencing pain in your neck, back, or arm that is unusually severe or lasts for more than a few days, you may have a pinched nerve. Other signs of a pinched nerve include numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or leg.

If you think you may have a pinched nerve, see your doctor for a diagnosis and pinch nerve treatment.

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