How Do You Irritate a Nerve?

As a physical therapist, I often evaluate and treat patients with a “pinched nerve.” These people usually have low back pain and are starting to feel pain in the buttock, thigh, or lower leg, which is the typical onset of sciatica. Often times, the patient has been to their family doctor and has been prescribed anti-inflammatory or analgesic medication to treat the “pinched nerve.” When these medications fail to work to decrease or abolish the patient’s pain, he or she usually expresses frustration. The pain persists, and the nerve is still irritated. So how do you irritate a nerve? Why do nerves get pinched? Why does medication seem so ineffective at abolishing pain? To start to relieve irr

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