About Nerve Root Compression

A Condition Caused by Pressure on a Spinal Nerve

At miVIP Surgery Centers, our surgical surgeons are capable of treating nearly any back ailment. Whether you have moderate pain due to nerve root compression, or something much more serious, we are equipped to handle it.

Nerve root compression is also known as compression neuropathy, a trapped nerve or even a pinched nerve. When bones, cartilage, tendons or muscles put pressure on a nerve, it can create problems. The location of your trapped nerve will determine where the pain or symptoms occur. For example, pain radiating down the back of the leg may be a result of a herniated disc in the lower back.

What Causes Nerve Root Compression

Nerve root compression is often caused by:

  • Injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Repetitive stress
  • Poor posture

Symptoms of Nerve Root Compression

Symptoms of nerve root compression often include:
  • Decreased sensation or numbness in the area that the nerve supplies
  • Burning or sharp pain that radiates out
  • Pain when coughing or sneezing
  • Muscle weakness in the area affected
  • Twitching in the area affected
  • Tingling sensation
  • Feeling that an extremity has fallen asleep
  • Limited mobility

How to Treat Nerve Root Compression

While rest can commonly alleviate many of the symptoms associated with a trapped nerve, a doctor may recommend the following nerve root compression treatment:
  • Physical Therapy – Exercises to stretch and strengthen the spine have been shown to relieve pressure on the affected nerve. In some cases, activities that exacerbate the symptoms should be modified.
  • Medication – Corticosteroid injections are used to treat both inflammation and pain. Both over the counter and prescription pain killers have been effective.
  • Surgery – If conservative therapy doesn’t successfully treat the issue, surgery may be needed to take pressure off of the nerve. For example, a foraminotomy may be required. The bone, ligament or other surrounding tissue is removed, thus releasing the pressure on the vertebrae.

Prognosis of Nerve Root Compression Prognosis

Drug therapies and physical therapy are often successful without the need of surgery. However, surgery may completely resolve the issue or gradually decrease the severity of the symptoms. In more severe cases it may be impossible to fully heal the nerve, and some symptoms may continue as a result of degenerative disc disease. In those instances, physical therapy following surgery is often necessary and may provide some form of relief.

Contact miVIP for Help Today

MiVIP is dedicated to making sure that our patients live as much of a pain-free life as possible. To start on your road to healing, or to learn more about our foraminotomy surgery center, contact miVIP Surgery Centers at 855-496-4847.


  • Foraminotomy