Pain from pinched or trapped nerves can be debilitating. Once they leave the spine most nerves pass between, and in some cases directly through, muscles en route to their final destination. But when some of those muscles become too tight, either because of spasm or injury, they can squeeze the nerves. This starts to cut off the nerve’s blood supply, causing a wide variety of possible symptoms including, pain, altered sensations (such as numbness, tingling, burning, etc.), and weakness.
Conservative soft tissue treatments such as physical therapy and massage therapy may help. But when these fail, what’s the next step? For most, surgery is a last resort.
Nerve Hydrodissection is a simple, safe treatment where the doctor injects some fluid around the nerve (but not INTO the nerve!) to ease the pressure from the surrounding muscles and to separate the nerve from the surrounding tissue, fascia, or adjacent structures. This is all done under direct ultrasound guidance to help insure accuracy and safety. In our office, we use a combination of an I.V. fluid known as “D5W” (5% dextrose in water) with a very small amount of Novocain. The weak sugar also helps heal inflammation in the nerve. In some stubborn cases, a solution of platelet-derived growth factors (from PRP) or exosomes is used instead of IV fluid to promote better healing. In the vast majority of cases, the treatment is either painless or minimally uncomfortable when done properly.
Conditions that are commonly treated by hydrodissection include:
Hydrodissection can treat more than just pinched nerves. Sometimes a muscle or tendon becomes thickened, fibrotic, or just too tight from overuse and chronic tension. The muscle stops moving smoothly. Trigger points can develop. Pain can ensue. Massage therapy or other soft tissue treatments, or trigger point injections, may work, but often only temporarily. In such cases, we perform hydrodissection of the muscle or tendon itself. This breaks up scar tissue in the muscle and allows it to function more normally, and the pain often starts to go away.
At Valley Sports Physicians & Orthopedic Medicine, we’re experts in hydrodissection techniques. We’ve been doing them longer than the vast majority of practices in the U.S. Call us today to see if we can help you with your pinched nerve!