If you have a pinched nerve in the hip or leg or both, this article is the right choice for you to read!
What is a Nerve?
The nerve is an aggregation of tissues in our body that transmits signals from one part of the body to the other.
What Nerves Are There in the Lower Limb?
The lower limb is supplied by various nerves arising from the lumbosacral plexus. Sciatic and the femoral nerves, however, are the major nerves of the lower limb.
How Does a Nerve Get Pinched?
Nerve pinching results from the following:
- Trauma resulting from fall or road traffic accident
- Sleeping in the wrong position
- Sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time in the same position
- Displaced vertebras
- Overgrowth of bone-forming a spur that leads to nerve getting hurt
- Muscular spasm
- Being overweight
How Does a Pinched Nerve Feel?
As I mentioned earlier, nerves transmit signals including pain. So, nerve pain could really be disturbing. On one hand, it might merely feel like having a burning sensation or numbness on the affected side. You may just feel tingling and ants walking all over. On the other hand, it could feel as if someone has stabbed you. The pain could be radiating as well as shooting. With a pinched nerve in the hip, you cannot walk properly as it would be painful.
How to Treat a Pinched Nerve at Home?
There are several home remedies for treating pinched nerves in the hip and leg. You can, however, opt for any of these depending on what suits you.
It involves the treatment with hot or cold temperature:
- Ice pack application reduces inflammation and hence reduces pain. But do not apply ice for a long time as it may cause frostbite.
- Heat application improves the blood supply and aids healing. However, avoid too much heat as it damages skin and neurons.
- Moreover, you can alternate both of these.
Over the Counter Medicines
For treating pain and inflammation, you can take Ibuprofen and Naproxen. These painkillers are available ubiquitously.
Do not drag yourself into a position that is painful for you. Additionally, take complete bed rest. Moreover, do not walk or lie in a posture that aggravates the pain.
Manage ideal weight
If your weight is above the ideal weight for your age and height, then you need to lose it. Take a balanced diet and exercise to reduce weight. Maintaining an ideal weight will prevent the recurrence of this pain.
There are many exercises you can do at home.
1. Buttock Stretches
- Lie down on the floor with face up and lower limbs stretched
- Lift the right hip and leg and crossing it over the left side
- Keep this posture until you feel stretch
- Hold in the same position for 30 seconds and then release
- Repeat the same on the left side
2. Piriformis Stretch
Piriformis is a hip muscle and it is most likely to be hurt in case of a pinched hip nerve. By doing this simple stretching you can enhance the blood supply to this muscle causing relief.
- Lie down on a flat surface with face up.
- Grab the knee of the aching side with both hands
- Now pull the knee towards your head in slow motion.
- If you want to have more stretch then hold the ankle and move the foot to the opposite hip
- Hold in the same pose for 10 seconds.
- Practice the same on the opposite limb and do it thrice at least.
3. The Bridge Exercise for Lower Back
- Lie down flat on a carpet or yoga mat
- With your feet on the ground flex your knees at an angle of 45 degrees.
- Keep your feet slightly apart
- Inhale a deep breath and squeeze your abdomen
- Lift your lower back and buttocks off the ground in such a manner that your shoulders and head remain on the ground level.
- In the final position, your back and buttocks should completely be off the floor.
- Your hips knees and feet should be inline
- Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds
- Rest for 15 seconds and repeat
4. Leg Sliding on Floor
- With you upwards lie down flat on the floor
- Bend your knees while keeping feet on the ground
- Breathe gently and draw your belly muscles inwards
- Do not move your belly or back and slowly extend one leg until it lies straight on the floor
- Hold the leg straight for around 15 seconds and then bring it back to the bent position
5. Full Body Stretching
- Stretching improves blood circulation to muscles and makes the body flexible. Moreover, It can relieve muscle spasms and ease the pain associated with a pinched nerve in the hip.
When to See a Physician?
If the pain keeps on getting worse in spite of adopting home remedies then it is time to go to the doctor. Also, if the pain appears frequently without any obvious reason, see your doctor immediately.
What a Doctor Will Do
A doctor will take a detailed history from you as well as will advise you on some medicine. In fact, if he finds it necessary he might conduct one of the following tests to reach the diagnosis:-
- Nerve conduction study
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- High-resolution ultrasound
Physiotherapy for Hip Nerve Entrapment
Your physician might refer you to a physiotherapist. He in turn will perform some maneuvers to release the entrapped nerve. Moreover, he might provide you some pain-relieving patches.
Do I Need Surgery to Treat a Pinched Nerve in the Hip and Leg?
Well, in the worst-case scenarios, the answer is yes. If no home remedies, medicines, physiotherapy works, then surgery is a necessary evil. However, this happens in cases where the patient has a prolapsed disc or a bone spur. A neurosurgeon will either perform a discectomy or laminectomy. accordingly, this will release the entrapped nerve and relieve the agony.
How can I Prevent the Pinching of the Hip Nerve?
There are the following tips that you can adopt to avoid your hip nerve from pinching:-
- Firstly, keep your weight within ideal limits
- Do not sit or stand in the same posture for prolonged periods of time.
- Do full body stretches on a daily basis
- Improve your posture.
The Final Wording
A pinched nerve in your leg or hip is really painful and very disturbing. If you ever happen to suffer from it, just be quick and try your best to treat it at home with the help of the above-mentioned tips. Furthermore, If you find it out of your control, see your doctor at the earliest for detailed treatment such as physiotherapy, etc.