Nerve Compression

Nerves run throughout the whole body. It is mandatory for feeling. Without nerves, we would never feel pain. They may seem good, but it can be dangerous. Let’s say you have nerve damage in your arm. If your arm catches on fire, you will not be able to feel it. This may damage your whole arm and lead to infection. This example is extreme, but the pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong. When the nerves become pinched, it is a problem. Pinched nerves can happen in the hip and ankle joint. It is something that has to be addressed quickly, or it will affect your quality of life.

The hip and ankle joints have nerves. These nerves in both the ankles and hips help you move properly. Ligaments and tendons typically surround the nerves. These structures help protect the nerve. The thing to remember is that the nerve runs in between the joints of the hip and ankle. It is not like a nerve that runs along the bone of your arm. The arm itself is not a joint, so the nerve is not susceptible to compression. The ankle and hip are joints. Several bones make up these structures. Joints are typically more susceptible to pinched nerves just due to their makeup.

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A compressed nerve is caused by pressure that is put on the nerve. In the case of ankle and hip joints, a compressed nerve may be a result of pressure from the bones, ligaments or tendons. When you keep your joints in a fixed position too long, it may cause the nerves to get pinched. Making the same motion over and over again can also result in a compressed nerve.  Arthritis is a huge problem. The nerve is already in a narrow space, so when the joints become inflamed, it leaves even less room for the nerve. The pressure of inflammation usually causes pain. Inflammation does not just cause pain in that one area. It can cause the pain to radiate.

In the ankle, flat feet are a major cause. Those with flat feet puts a strain on their nerve. The arches in the feet help the joints and other parts of the feet to function properly when there is no arch; the foot has to adjust. Ankle sprains are also risk factors for compressed nerves. The sprains lead to inflammation. Inflammation compresses the nerves around the ankle. In the hip, injuries are also a problem. If you dislocate your hip or fall on it wrong, inflammation will occur and cause compression. A hip that did not develop appropriately is another source of compression. When the hip does not develop properly, the hip will have bone spurs. These bone spurs can rub on the nerve and cause pain. The ankle can also have bone spurs. Cyst formation on the ankles and hips are also not good.

Symptoms

When the nerve is compressed, you will automatically feel pain. Symptoms include numbness, weakness, tingling, and even a burning sensation. The pain may not be great at first, but it will eventually increase. Nerves have a barrier called myelin sheath. This protects the nerve from damage. Constant compression on the nerve wears away the sheath and exposes the nerve to inflammation and scarring. Eventually, your symptoms become greater. You now will begin to feel pain around the area. It will not just be on the ankle or the hip joint, but it may radiate into the legs, foot, or back. The condition may have you bed-ridden. Any movement can be very painful.

Treatment

Treatment must be done as soon as possible. If the condition is not treated, you can lose all feeling in those joints. Medicine is the first form of treatment. Steroid injections are very effective. They numb the pain and reduce the swelling. Sometimes this reduction in swelling gets rid of the problem altogether. Other medications like pain meds simply get rid of the pain. This only lasts for a brief period. Pain meds are not the best form of treatment because you have to keep taking them which may lead to addiction. Any anti-inflammatory drug helps. Physical therapy is a good method of treatment. It stretches the joints which create room for the nerve. It also strengthens the muscles around the joint. If the pinched nerve is in the ankle, the doctor may give you a splint. The splint keeps your ankle stable and gives your ankle rest. Surgery is an option when pain is severe. If you are losing feeling in parts of your body due to a compressed nerve, surgery is your best bet.

A compressed nerve is nothing to ignore. The pain you feel will not even let you ignore the situation. If you are experiencing tingling and burning in your joints, you should see a doctor. Do not wait. Make an appointment today. You do not want the condition to get worse and leave you with permanent damage. Through proper treatment, you can get the pressure off the nerve and live a pain-free life.

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