Treatments for a pinched nerve include physical therapy, wearing a splint, medications that reduce swelling and inflammation, and undergoing surgery, according to WebMD. Assessing the severity of the pain and the damage to the nerve helps doctors determine the most effective type of treatment.
The most common symptoms that indicate the presence of a pinched nerve include pain and numbness, according to WebMD. In some cases, such as sciatica, the pain may radiate to surrounding areas. Treatments for these types of symptoms are minor and require nothing more than physical therapy or the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral corticosteroids, narcotics and steroid injections. The patient may also need to wear a splint, rest the affected area and avoid strenuous activities. If the pain is damaging or severe, the doctor may recommend that the patient undergo surgery to remove scar tissue, disc material and parts of nearby bones as a way to relieve compression on the nerve.
In most cases, pinched nerves result from repetitive motions or holding limbs in certain positions for too long, as explained by WebMD. The compression may occur between ligaments, tendons or bones. Because the pain tends to radiate, untreated cases may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and other types of peripheral neuropathies.