Signs of a Pinched Nerve: What You Need to Know

Signs of a Pinched Nerve: What You Need to Know

Signs of a Pinched Nerve: What Your Need To Know

A pinched nerve in the neck can be a very debilitating and irritating condition. The signs of a pinched nerve are pretty simple.  Often times it causes you to have pain in your neck with numbness and tingling down your arm.  This can limit your ability to move your neck pain-free and may even cause you to stop participating in some of your favorite activities. The key to treating a pinched nerve is determining where the nerve is being compressed upon and targeting the pain at its root cause. Once you’ve determined what is causing the pinched nerve you can alleviate the pain and start to move pain-free again.  In this article, I will explain what nerves are, the top signs of a pinched nerve, what can cause a pinched nerve and how long it can take to heal.

What is a nerve and what does it do? Nerves are like the electrical wiring in our bodies. The central command center is the spinal cord and at each level of our spine nerves branch off like little wires and bring the electrical current necessary for us to have the sensation to feel and the ability to move our muscles. Without our nerves, we would not be able to move our muscles properly or feel different sensations such as touch, heat, cold, or pinprick.  When these nerves get compressed or impinged upon by different structures in our neck then we begin to experience pain and loss of movement in our neck/arm. This can affect our ability to move pain-free and enjoy the activities that we love.

What can cause a pinched nerve? A pinched nerve occurs when there is too much “compression” on the affected nerve and this can be caused by several factors. This, in turn, can cause irritation of the nerve and symptoms that come along with it which will discuss later in this article.  Some of the most common causes of a pinched nerve include bulging disc, muscle tightness, joint restrictions and posture.  It is crucial to undergo a thorough assessment to determine what exactly is causing your nerve to be affected.

  1. When we sit with poor posture (our head and neck forward with shoulders rounded) we will start to change the way our neck muscles and joint function. This, in turn, can cause tightness and lack of mobility in the neck. If you turn your head to the right or left and you feel a pinch or tightness then that is a sign that there is a restriction in the neck that may be affecting your nerve. When mobility deficits appear, other areas begin to be affected including the nerves that leave the neck.
neck pain

Incorrect Posture

pinched nerve

Incorrect Posture

Correct Posture

2. Nerves run through our bodies like wiring. They pass through different muscle groups in order to get to their destination. Therefore, if certain muscles in the neck or shoulder area get into spasm or tighten up the nerve, in turn, will be affected. If you have tightness or stiffness in your neck muscles or shoulder region along with the symptoms of a pinched nerve then there is a good chance that the muscle spasm could be the culprit.

3. A bulging disc could be the cause of the nerve pain if you are experiencing pain when looking down for prolonged period of time. People that have occupations where they have to look down at a table or desk often tend to have nerve pain related to a bulging disc in the neck. The good news is that we know through research that if certain steps are taken then that this nerve pain from the bulging disc can be relieved. Often times the disc itself can be healed!

4. At each level of our spine in the neck there are holes through which the nerve exits. This is where the nerve branches off the spinal cord and leaves the spine to go to the different muscles in our body. If there is any stiffness or tightness at the joint level where the nerve exits than this can cause irritation upon the nerve. This typically occurs in people in age > 40. There is no need to worry because once the specific joint restriction is identified it can be loosened which relieves pressure off the nerve and restores pain-free movement. Now that we have covered some of the typical “causes” of a pinched nerve, let’s take a look at some of the most common signs of a pinched nerve:

1. Numbness and tingling down the shoulder, arm or hand

2. sharp pinch when turning our head to one side

3. Burning into our upper trap muscles

4. Radiating pain into the shoulder, arm, or hand
You can also watch this video below which discusses the top 3 signs of a pinched nerve to understand better.

Can a Pinch Nerve be healed? How long does it take to heal a pinched nerve? Yes! Recovery and healing from a pinched nerve is possible.  It’s important to read the signs of a pinched nerve before it gets even worse. This depends on several factors including how long you’ve had the pain, how bad the pain is, and how often the pain occurs throughout your typical day. It is important to be able to identify which movements and postures can bring about your pain. Does it occur when you look down for too long? Look to one side or look up? Once you are able to understand which movements or postures cause your pain then you can change how you move to avoid irritating the nerve that is affected. Have these signs of a pinched nerve ready when discussing with your Dr. Nick.

All of these factor matter in regards to healing the particular nerve that is irritated. If the nerve has been irritated for < 2-3 months then it can generally take anywhere from 4- 6 weeks to heal. If the problem has been around > 3 months then it may take longer than the 4-6 week time frame. The most important concept to understand when thinking about pinched nerves is to identify what activities, movements, and postures aggravate your condition. Once you have figured that out you are one step closer to natural healing and pain-free movement!

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Hip Bursitis

Hip Bursitis

Lateral Hip Pain Signs and Symptoms (Hip Bursitis)

Lateral Hip Pain is common among the active population. A painful hip can keep a runner from running farther, a weightlifter from increasing weight, and can prevent a good nights sleep!  Lateral Hip pain can be classified under many diagnosis including hip bursitis, gluteal tendinitis, gluteal tendinopathy, greater trochanteric syndrome, glute pain and IT band syndrome. However for the simplicity of this post we will refer to the general term “lateral hip pain” because often times these conditions and syndromes are misdiagnosed which leads to failed treatment. The key to treating lateral hip pain is first understanding whether or not that the root cause of the pain is due to the hip or another region in the body. Then you must decipher which structure in the body is causing the pain that is keeping you on the sideline. Watch this video below to learn more.


Hey everybody! My name is Dr. Nick Scotto with River City Physical Therapy located right here in the heart of Jacksonville. We are one of the best in Jacksonville Physical Therapy.

Today I want to talk to you about the Top 3 Most Common Signs and Symptoms of lateral hip pain. Now there are many diagnoses that include:

  • Hip bursitis gluteal tendinopathy
  • Glute pain
  • Greater Trochanteric Syndrome.

There are a lot of medical terms that are thrown out the diagnosis top type of pain, but for the simplicity of this video, we’re just going to call it lateral hip pain. Hip Bursitis is the most common diagnosis that is given. The hallmark sign of lateral hip pain is that you have pain when you lay on the side of the hip that hurts. If you have pain on your right hip when you go to sleep at night, and it’s hard to fall asleep, you may have lateral hip pain. Sometimes you can’t even really lay on the side of the pain. That’s actually the number one complaint and symptom that people have when they come to see me for this condition.

Another common sign or symptom that people have with lateral hip pain is that if you are extremely active, you have this pain when you are training. This commonly happens with runners, dancers, weightlifters and Cross Fitters. It’s tricky because they will not typically have pain when they are sitting down or doing day to day activities, but it will flair when working out. Sometimes it will not even get bad until towards the middle or end of the workout, causing some to think it’s just overworking during a workout. Don’t let that fool you. If the pain persists hours or days after the workout, you may be experiencing lateral hip pain.

Again, with this lateral hip pain you’re going to have pain mainly when you’re moving around. The third common symptom that people have is they can point to where their pain is, usually with one or two fingers. When they press on the side of the hip where that bony aspect is on the side of hip, the pain is reproduced. Either an extremely sharp sensation occurs, or a hard ache/hard dull ache happens in that area where their pain is. The ability to really pinpoint where the pain is can give some more clues into whether this is true lateral hip pain or not for instance, being able to reproduce the pain by pressing the side of the hip. To recap, if you have true lateral hip pain it’s not a pain coming from the back or the SI joint sacroiliac joint. Most likely, you’ll have pain when you lay on that side. So, if the pains on the right side hurt when you lay on the right side you’re most likely to have pain during activity. Whether the activity is CrossFit, running, weightlifting, dancing, or you’re participating in your specific sport you usually have pain during the activity. Usually afterwards, it starts to ache as well alongside pain with specific pressure to the outside of the hip. If you have any of these signs or symptoms and want to learn about how to get this pain, give us a call at (904) 566-7070 and we’ll be happy to talk with you to see exactly what’s causing your pain. Call us so we can help you perform at a high level with your dancing, your sport, your exercise, your CrossFit, your lifting or any physical activity you enjoy doing. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Check us out on Facebook!

Top 3 Causes of Hip Pain (Video)

Top 3 Causes of Hip Pain (Video)

Top 3 Causes of Hip Pain

Hip pain can be a common complaint with runners, cross fitters, weight lifters, and people who like to get out and play. The key to treating and ending it is to discover the “Root Cause”. In order to get lasting  relief the root cause must be identified so that appropriate treatment can be given. Some of the major causes of pain can include hip arthritis, hip impingement, IT band syndrome, Hip Bursitis, Gluteal Tendinopathy, and greater trochanteric syndrome. Learn the top 3 common causes of Hip Pain and why it is important to learn what the “root cause” of your pain is before you receive any treatment. This is important to understand because many treatments fail because the root cause of the pain was never determined. You can learn more about how to effectively treat and end hip pain here Click here to learn more!

Video Transcript for the hearing impaired.

Hey everybody Dr. Nick Scotto here with
River City physical therapy located
right here in the heart of Jacksonville
today I wanted to talk to you about the
top three most common causes of hip pain
now hip pain usually occurs when you’re
active and move around quite a bit so
you might be a crossfitter
a weightlifter you might be a runner or
a dancer or maybe you’re someone in that
middle age category or older who likes
to stay active and fit playing tennis or
golf and it can affect people of all
ages and people who participate in all
different kinds of sport so but one of
the first most common causes affects
that kind of middle-aged and older
active older population that is hip
arthritis or hip osteoarthritis this is
usually kind of like a painful and stiff
hip usually the pain is felt in the
front and on the side of the hip now
another common cause of hip pain is what
some might call hip bursitis it’s also
be called greater trochanteric syndrome
greater trochanteric bursitis you know
say that three times fast
it’s also been called gluteal
tendinopathy or trochanteric
tendinopathy or glute pain so there’s a
lot of different diagnoses for this but
I like to call it just lateral hip pain
to simplify things so lateral hip pain
kind of encompasses all of those types
of pains and again all of those hip
bursitis greater trochanteric syndrome
gluteal tendinopathy all of that pain is
felt to literally just on the side of
your hip on the outside of your
you usually don’t feel pain elsewhere
and usually that pain occurs when
participating your favorite sport
exercise routine or activity and it most
often affects women middle-aged women
actually now the third one I’m going to
I’m kind of incorporate two different
two different diagnoses are very similar
hip impingement and labral tears in the
hip so hip impingement and labral tears
and hip this is when you get kind of a
pinching sharp sensation when you’re
squatting down and coming back up or
when you’re cutting you feel kind of a
catch or a click in your hip those are
some of the signs of symptoms of a hip
impingement or labor tears
usually affects your athletes including
your dancers or your CrossFitters or
specific sports soccer players
footballers tennis players really
anybody who’s who requires a lot of hip
mobility to move around in their sport
so this this can be a painful condition
and definitely affect your more active
population and keep them from performing
at a high level now all of these three
conditions have one thing in common and
that is they keep people from performing
at their highest level whether they’re a
walker or Runner a crossfitter a
weightlifter a tennis player a soccer
player all of these conditions can be
painful and keep you from performing at
the level you want or maybe you’re just
someone that wants to be able to play
with their kids and grandkids getting up
and off the ground running around with
them but you can’t because you have this
pain that keeps you from doing it and
then particularly with lateral hip pain
it may keep you from sleeping
comfortably so all of these conditions
can be quite painful and debilitating in
our lives so if you have some hip pain
and aren’t sure what’s going on or what
to do about it I would invite you to
give us a call at 904-370-3257 and we’ll
talk to you to see what type of hip pain
you may have and what it might look like
for you to get back to the onto the road
of pain free movement and pain free
living look forward to hearing from you soon.

Degenerative Disc Disease Causes and Treatment

Degenerative Disc Disease Causes and Treatment

Degenerative Disc Disease        


A very common diagnosis among people with back pain is degenerative disc disease. This is usually a disorder related to the aging of the low back and is actually quite normal. As we get older the discs in our low back get a little more stiff and have less fluid in them. This is what ultimately causes some of the “stiffness” and “aches” in our low back.  Movement is often the key to fixing the pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Watch the video below to learn more.

Achilles Tendon Pain with Running

Achilles Tendon Pain with Running

 How To Treat Pain in the Achilles Tendon

Mid Portion Achilles Tendinopathy  


Runners often experience pain in the back of the Achilles tendon that can persist.  This pain is usually caused by deficits in flexibility, strength, and neuromuscular control. The longer that this Achilles tendon pain persists the longer it usually takes to heal. Watch this video to learn more about Achilles tendinopathy and how to treat it so you can run pain-free!