If you have ever felt the numbing or tingling sensation of a limb ‘falling asleep’, you’ve most likely experienced a pinched nerve. Nerves generally fall into two categories, central and peripheral. The central nerves are located mostly in the spinal column and brain, while peripheral nerves extend to the tips of a person’s extremities. If one of these peripheral nerves becomes trapped under a joint or bone spur, the electrical connection below the pinch point becomes blocked. This leads to the numbing sensation we call a pinched nerve.
One of the most common locations for a pinched nerve is the spinal region of the back. This is because many nerves exit the central spinal cord through gaps in the vertebrae. If a degenerative disease or a trauma should cause the disk between two vertebrae to collapse, a condition known as a herniated disk, then any nerve around the disk could become a pinched nerve. The result is often a painful back spasm around the affected area or a numbing sensation in the legs, arms or lower back.