Justin Morneau just came off the disabled list and is going back on. Why? Well, he has a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve so bad he has trouble with feelings in his fingers. He also has an issue grasping.
The thing that kind of made the decision was hearing that it could be permanent weakness in the arm, and numbness in the fingers and all that stuff. I’d like that to go away. That’s the plan for the surgery, hopefully that’ll be the result and I’ll come out good and be ready for August and September.
That’s what I think the decision came down to, being able to play late in the year instead of trying to find a way to push through it and not feel very good. I could break down and need the surgery later in the year and have to sit out again.
Permanent weakness is something that would affect more than his baseball career. He wouldn’t be able to lead a normal life without the surgery.
What is a pinched nerve? Yeah, the technical term is radiculopathy. What Justin has is called cervical radiculopathy since his spine is involved. What happens is that a part of your body compresses, pinches, a nerve so that it cannot function properly. In Justin’s case the pinched nerve is occurring since his vertebrae are compressed against a nerve.
What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve? Pain is a hallmark of a pinched nerve. It will be a dull, radiating pain. Weakness in the affected area as well as fatigue. You may also have an issue with temperature sensitivity.
How does a pinched nerve affect playing sports? Your ability to manipulate the part of the body affected will be limited. The biggest effect is that your strength will be drawn.
How do you treat a pinched nerve? Well, sometimes rest and anti-inflammatory medicine will do the trick. Rest is the biggest component coupled with massage of the area. You need to ensure the vertebrae release the push on the nerve. In the worst case you’ll need surgery like Justin to relieve the pressure and free the nerve.
How long to return from a pinched nerve? Without surgery you take the chance it’ll be four weeks, but this isn’t a guarantee. With surgery you’ll need a few months.