Pinched Nerve Specialist

Richard B. Kim, MD -  - Neurosurgery

Richard B. Kim, MD

Neurosurgery located in Newport Beach, CA & Orange, CA

Pinched nerves can cause excruciating pain as well as other unpleasant sensations and loss of function. If you have symptoms of a pinched nerve in your back or neck, board-certified neurosurgeon Richard Kim MD MS Inc can help. At his offices in Newport Beach, CA and Orange, CA, Dr. Kim provides expert diagnostic services and advanced treatments for pinched nerves, including minimally-invasive spine surgery. Call the office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kim or book an appointment online.

Pinched Nerve

What is a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve is one that's compressed between ligaments and bones or other nearby tissues. Pinched nerves can be extremely painful and cause other unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • "Pins and needles" sensation
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Prickling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced function
  • Paralysis

Nerves all around your body can come under pressure. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is due to the median nerve coming under pressure from thickened ligaments in your wrist. However, your spine is one of the most common places to experience a pinched nerve.

Your spinal cord part of your central nervous system is a collection of many nerves inside the spinal canal where they’re protected by your vertebrae. Coming off your spinal cord are numerous nerves, branching out to other parts of your body through gaps in the vertebrae.

These nerves can be subject to pressure from structures in your spine, causing the symptoms of a pinched nerve.

What could be causing my pinched nerve?

Anything that affects the structures within your spine can cause a pinched nerve.

Auto accidents and sports injuries might cause damage to your vertebrae or the ligaments in your spine, which puts one or more nerves under pressure. Conditions like spinal stenosis, arthritis, and herniated discs cause changes in your spine that can lead to nerve compression, too.

The medical term for a pinched nerve in your spine is radiculopathy. Cervical radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in your neck, while lumbar radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in your lower back. Sciatica, a common cause of back pain, is a form of lumbar radiculopathy.

How is the cause of my pinched nerve diagnosed?

Dr. Kim can diagnose the cause of your pinched nerve using cutting-edge technologies such as:

  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) studies
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • High-resolution ultrasound

Dr. Kim uses these technologies to test nerve functioning and view your spine in detail. He can then see which nerves are coming under pressure and why.

How is a pinched nerve treated?

In some cases, conservative treatments can alleviate the cause of the pressure on your nerve. For example, a combination of rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and medication can reduce tissue inflammation and take the pressure off your pinched nerve.

If these approaches don't help, Dr. Kim can perform minimally-invasive spine surgery to relieve the pressure on your nerves. The type of surgery you need depends on the cause of your pinched nerve. For instance, a herniated disc might require discectomy or microdiscectomy, spinal fusion, or artificial disc replacement.

If you're experiencing the symptoms of a pinched nerve, call Richard Kim MD MS Inc today or book an appointment online.