What Is Nerve Compression?

Nerve compression, or entrapment neuropathy, is a condition caused by pressure that is directly on a nerve. It also can be called a trapped nerve or a pinched nerve.


Nerve compression can be caused by external pressure, especially for extended periods of time. Examples include resting your arm on a bar or chair, resting elbows on tables or desks, prolonged used of crutches, or similar actions that have the same effect. It also can be caused by rapid weight gain or any condition which causes tissues to expand and directing pressure onto the offended nerve.

Sitting or standing with incorrect posture for long periods of time often cause nerve compression in the spine. More serious spinal conditions, like osteoporosis, arthritis, or degenerative disc disease can cause even more severe nerve damage in the spine. Other common nerve compression issues include carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome which often affect the wrists of those who spend long hours typing at a computer.


The most common symptoms are a pins-and-needles or tingling feeling, numbness, a burning sensation, and in some cases, pain.


Your physiatrist may recommend a Nerve Conduction Study or EMG test, which will point to the dysfunctional nerve and relay have damaged it may be.


Depending on the cause of the nerve compression, the location, and the extent, certain treatments may be more or less effective. Treatments include physical therapy, steroid injections, splints, wraps or braces, and in some cases, surgery.

At NY Bone & Joint Specialists, Dr. Michael Mizhiritsky, specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, holds a proficiency in electrodiagnostic testing and treatment of nerve pathologies. Many surgeons and physicians have referred to Dr. Mizhiritsky’s electrodiagnostic testing expertise.

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