What Are Some Symptoms of a Pinched Shoulder Nerve?

Patrik Giardino/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The symptoms of a pinched shoulder nerve include sharp pain in the affected shoulder, headache, and pain in the back of the neck, Healthline reports. Other symptoms include radiating sciatic pain, numbness, a tingling sensation, general weakness of the shoulder, and a pricking sensation known as paresthesia, according to WebMD.

Pinched nerves cause shoulder pain when a peripheral nerve or its sheath become damaged or irritated, according to MedicineNet. The compression of a nerve commonly manifests as numbness or weakness in the neck and shoulder followed by pain that extends through the affected arm. Changes to stool and urine patterns that accompany the pain and numbness are possible secondary symptoms of a compressed or pinched nerve, Healthline notes.

The pain associated with a compressed nerve is usually a sharp, nonmuscular pain that is different from the ache caused by a strain or muscular exertion, Healthline confirms. Paresthesia, commonly known as the “pins-and-needles” sensation, is often a defining symptom of a pinched nerve in the shoulder as well as other parts of the body. This sensation is similar to a crawling or itching feeling on the skin and numbness of the affected area, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.