One condition among a set of disorders known as Radiculopathy, a pinched nerve is the painful compression of a nerve at its root or along the spine. However, the pain or other symptoms often radiate out to other parts of the body connected to that nerve. For example, a pinched nerve in the neck will often produce pain and weakness in the forearm. Likewise, an impingement in the lower back can cause pain and symptoms in the foot.
Certain injuries are especially likely to cause a pinched nerve. These include lifting or moving heavy objects improperly or suffering from a minor car accident. Less common causes include swelling in the spine caused by a tumor (which can compress the nerve located in that spinal column) and diabetes (which can limit normal blood flow).