What Are the Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve in the Back?

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The symptoms of a pinched nerve include numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve, such as the back; a sharp or burning pain and tingling, itching, prickling and burning sensations, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms are muscle weakness in the area of the nerve compression and frequently feeling that a hand or foot has “fallen asleep.” Moreover, the entire core muscle, namely, the back, thighs, abdominals and legs, are all weakened.

The problem may worsen while asleep, because one of the condition’s causes is holding the body in one position for a long period of time, such as keeping the elbows bent while sleeping, as reported by WebMD.

A nerve under extreme pressure in the lower back, or lumbar region, usually feels as though the pain is radiating down the leg like sciatica. Sometimes painful muscle spasms in the back accompany pinched nerves; for example, Tiger Woods was forced to miss the 2014 Masters due to back surgery to treat his spasms. While pain, whether shooting pain or chronic back pain, is usually a warning sign, a pinched nerve doesn’t always come with this physical feeling. Numbness and weakness in the arm or leg may be without pain, according to SpineUniverse.