Q:

Can GPs treat pinched nerves of the leg or is a specialist needed?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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.

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