How do you cure a trapped nerve?


Quick Answer

The majority of the symptoms from a first-time pinched nerve attack usually subside within six to 12 weeks, so typical treatment options are aimed at minimizing irritation and may include anti-inflammatory medications or muscle-balance physiotherapy, explains The Spinal Foundation. Frequent attacks and prolonged pain may require more advanced interventions.

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Anti-inflammatory medications used to address the pain from a trapped nerve may be either steroidal or nonsteroidal, notes The Spinal Foundation. Some drugs commonly indicated are ibuprofen and diclofenac. Muscle-balance physiotherapy can help patients maintain their range of mobility and correct any posture issues resulting from the trapped nerve.

Treatment approaches for patients with repeated trapped nerve attacks or for those who have long-lasting pain fall under three categories: conservative therapy, conventional open surgery and endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery, according to The Spinal Foundation. Some examples of conservative treatment options are coping courses, cognitive-behavioral therapy, muscle-balance physiotherapy and adjusting one's lifestyle.

Conventional open surgery options include procedures such as microdiscectomy, total disc replacement, open decompression and interspinous spacers. Success rates vary for these procedures, with a success rate of about 90 percent for microdiscectomy but only about 50 percent for total disc replacement, states The Spinal Foundation. Meanwhile, an analysis of 4,300 endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgeries shows positive results in over 80 percent of cases, as of January 2015.

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