Most of the time a general practitioner, or GP, can treat a pinched nerve; however, if surgery is required, then the patient will need to see a specialist for the operation, according to Mount Sinai Hospital. A pinched nerve occurs when bones, tissue, muscles, tendons or cartilage press too strongly against the nerve and impair its functioning, reports Mayo Clinic.
Pinched nerves do not only occur in the legs, but can also occur in the lower back or in the wrist. The pain from a pinched nerve can often be felt throughout the body in many areas. One example of this is when pain in the leg is caused by a pinched nerve in the back instead of by a pinched nerve in the leg. Most people will experience symptoms such as sharp pain, a dull ache, numbness, tingling, poor reflexes and muscle weakness.
Early treatment is usually performed at home by the patient. Treatment involves a splint for the body part that is in pain, massage, hot showers, alternating ice and heat packs, anti-inflammation medication, cortisone injections and rest. Following these treatment guidelines, most people will recover from the pinched nerve within 72 hours or a few weeks. If symptoms do not resolve themselves then the doctor may recommend surgery.