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Your ‘Sharp, Shooting, Electrical’ Pain Might Not Be a Pinched Nerve Afterall

St Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists

Spine Xray

Nerve pain comes in lots of different forms, it can be: sharp, shooting, electrical, numbness, tingling, or just an odd sensation. The pain may radiate down your arm or down your leg. It may be constant or might come and go. However you describe your nerve pain, there is one thing almost everyone can agree on--it is not comfortable. But did you know that there are many causes of pain that can mimic a pinched nerve? That’s right, not all pain that feels like a pinched nerve is a pinched nerve. Muscles, tendons, and joints can also radiate pain.

One of the most common causes of radiating pain comes from a muscle right around your shoulder blade. When this muscle gets tight, which can happen for any number of reasons, it sends a shooting pain all the way down a person’s arm. Unless a thorough history and physical exam are performed it is easy to misdiagnose this pain as a pinched nerve. Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and facet joint pain, just to name a few, are easily misdiagnosed as a pinched nerve.

The same can be said for a sharp, shooting, electrical pain going down a person’s leg. Some common causes of this pain can be things such as piriformis syndrome, ischial bursitis, facet joint pain, or trigger points.

Make sure you are getting properly diagnosed. This can mean the difference between getting surgery or a simple injection. Sometimes pain can even be adequately treated with just physical therapy. To ensure that you are getting an accurate diagnosis make sure you see a physician trained in the musculoskeletal system. A good place to start is with a doctor trained in interventional pain management.

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