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Understanding Pinched Nerves and How They Cause Anxiety

Understanding Pinched Nerves and How They Cause Anxiety

Can a pinched nerve cause anxiety?

People may experience pain at some point in their lives. However, for those with anxiety disorders, pain may be intense and hard to handle. People with anxiety disorders, for instance, may feel severe and long-lasting pain.

Notably, chronic pain may cause anxiety because the body is usually under stress. Anxiety can also result from psychological instead of biological factors. Chronic pain has the ability to cause depression because it may affect the brain and how the nervous system links to your body.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety may be destructive, and when combined or resulting from chronic pain, it can be paralyzing. It can also cause feeling of unease, worry, or nervousness. A doctor may diagnose anxiety after running several tests.

Also, an individual must have at least three symptoms that interfere with your work or social interactions for at least six months for an official diagnosis. Anxiety may happen when feelings become uncontrollable, chronic, irrational, and excessive.

What is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve happens when force or pressure is exerted on a nerve, sending signals to the brain. Damaged nerves may lead to a pinched nerve, and some signs may include weakness, pain, and numbness. A nerve can be pinched in a particular place and may result in symptoms there, but it can send pain signals to other body parts. Pinched nerves mostly occur in the spine, and pain can travel to the other body parts.

The stiff neck, backache, and arm or leg pain you may feel could occur due to a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve may be painful, and it can limit function. It can result from chemical, physical, and emotional stressors that may lead to misalignment, inflammation, and injury. Rest and home remedies may relieve most pinched nerves. However, if the pain persists, consider seeking other treatments. Chiropractic adjustments can assist in keeping your nervous system free of pain and irritation.

How a Pinched Nerve Causes Anxiety

Is there a link between pinched nerves and anxiety?

The debate on whether pinched nerve causes anxiety or vice versa has gone on for quite some time now. Well, pinched nerves may lead to stress because of the pain and emotional distress they cause to your body. Pain as a result of pinched nerves is a complex experience that may entail both psychological and physical factors. Generally, pain may be associated with stress and panic attacks, which can be characterized by sweating, chills, dizziness, and hot flashes.

As the pain from a pinched nerve worsens, people may lose sleep, feel helpless, experience challenges working, and feel irritable. All of these factors ultimately lead to depression and anxiety. Pinched nerves may tear the connective tissue that holds your spine, creating weakness and stressed positions. Consequently, there may be a disruption of the nervous system. Nerves have these crucial roles in your body:

  • Movements
  • Ability to relate to the surroundings
  • All your senses and how you feel
  • Regulation and control of your body systems

It may be expected to experience emotional reactions to pinched nerves irrespective of their locations, such as anxiety and fear. After experiencing pinched nerves, it may be likely to worry about the cause, how long the pain will last, and how much it will interfere with your daily activities. Psychological distress may cause anxiety.

How Common are Pinched Nerves?

A pinched nerve is common, with many adults in the United States affected by pinched nerves. Pinched nerves can affect people of any age. However, individuals over 50 years may be more likely to experience it due to spine degeneration and arthritis. There are no permanent damages when a nerve is pinched for a short time because it returns to normalcy after healing. However, permanent nerve damage and chronic pain may occur when the pressure continues.

Pinched nerves may be characterized by decreased sensation and a tingling sensation. Some conditions, such as obesity, injury, and sports activities, may cause pressure on nerves. Also, stress from repetitive work and wrist or rheumatoid arthritis can cause pinched nerves. Pinched nerves can recover within a few weeks, unless the injury was severe. Swelling and fluid may cause irreversible damage to your nerves. It might also cause chronic pain which can cause anxiety.

Where Can Pinched Nerves Happen?

Spinal Cord Pinched nerve and its affect on anxiety

A pinched nerve can occur in any part of your body, depending on the nerves being affected.

Some of the common areas where you are likely to feel the effects of a pinched nerve include:

  • Wrist and hand
  • Arm and elbow
  • Neck and shoulder
  • Back and upper chest

Risk Factors for Pinched Nerves

The following factors can increase the risks of getting a pinched nerve:

  • Bone spurs
  • Gender
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Obesity

Possible Signs of Pinched Nerves

You can get signs of a pinched nerve in any body part. However, the symptoms are prevalent in the feet, arms, legs, and hands. These are pinched nerve signs you shouldn’t ignore:

  1. You have pins and needles because of the compression of the sensory nerve
  2. Muscle weakness in the body because the motor nerves that transmit messages to your muscles are pinched
  3. Sharp, burning, or aching pain because of an inflamed or compressed component near the nerve
  4. Decreased sensation or numbness because of a pinched nerve's pressure causes insufficient blood flow to nerves
  5. Feeling like your foot or hand falls asleep often

Remedies for a Pinched Nerve

Pull to a rest area, and make sure you stretch and move around. Consider these solutions to relive the pain of a pinched nerve at home:

  • Ergonomic workstation
  • Posture change
  • Physical or massage therapy
  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Stretching and yoga
  • Elevate the legs
  • Ice and heat packs

When to See a Doctor

Pinched nerves can send warning signs to your brain. Therefore, pain from a pinched nerve that lasts for several days after treatment may signal something. If a pinched nerve affects your bladder, it may be time to visit a doctor. Inability to hold objects or the tendency to drop things, and nerve damages, causing a body part to collapse should also be a telltale to visit a doctor. Doctors may request for CAT or MRI to understand how the nerves have been affected.

Treating Pain and Anxiety

Changes in your diet and nutritional intake can be a major boost for your anxiety and pain. XanFree offers a perfect combination of ingredients that are designed to help reduce stress and promote calmness.

Consider stress management, such as journaling, exercise, and meditation, to treat anxiety. Getting regular exercises can also assist in reducing chronic pain signs and boosting your mood.

Biofeedback, hypnosis, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help in treating chronic pain and anxiety. Psychotherapy can assist anxious people and their family members to explain their experience of pain.

Conclusion

Pinched nerves can cause anxiety and stress because of the pain. You can use the home remedies explained above to treat a pinched nerve. If your signs last for a few weeks after taking pain relievers and experiencing balance issues, it’s time to consult a physician.

References

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6481-pinched-nerves
  2. https://www.healthandwellnessalerts.berkeley.edu/topics/back-pain/signs-you-might-have-a-pinched-nerve/
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pinched-nerve/symptoms-causes/syc-20354746
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320045#when-to-see-a-doctor

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