At each spinal level, nerve roots come out on both the right and the left side. What exactly are the function of these nerve roots?
Nerve roots end up providing multiple functions that we all take for granted. That is, until something goes wrong and a problem presents itself.
Nerve roots come up from the spine and allow people to feel pain, hot and cold, and balance. Along with the sensation benefits, nerve roots also allow muscle function such as flexing the biceps or lifting up the leg and foot.
The third function of nerve roots is less commonly thought of, and that is the ability to feel the position of the body in space. An example would be to know that the arm is elevated,
or to know where the leg is situated in the dark.
Typically, functions of a lot of nerve roots overlap. This means that for instance, the ability to lift up ones quadricep comes from multiple nerve roots innervating the muscles for this function. Therefore, if one of these nerve roots is compressed and unable to provide motor function, typically they will simply be weakness as the other muscles can somewhat compensate.
When a disc herniation occurs and a nerve root gets compressed, that in end of itself does not cause pain. But what it can do is spark up inflammation and that can lead to pain shooting down the person’s arm or leg as a result.
Most of the time, if compression is removed from a nerve root, the pain associated with the inflammation will resolve. Interestingly, the numbness that has been experienced from the compressed nerve may never resolve.
If an individual has been having motor weakness from the nerve root compression, often times that will get better with the compression being resolved. If however, the compression has existed for over 3 to 6 months, it may not fully resolve either. What this means is that compressed nerve roots do have a potential to resolve, but not always.
If you are experiencing significant leg or arm pain and suspect you have a pinched nerve, help is available. Arizona Pain Specialists has an Award Winning team of Board Certified pain management doctors in Arizona that offer comprehensive treatment for pinched nerves.
These include Phoenix chiropractor treatment, pain medication management, spinal decompression therapy, interventional pain management, acupuncture,physical rehabilitation and more. Call today at (602) 507-6550 for scheduling.