Pinched nerve is a good description of a nerve root compression. Either a bone spur or a herniated disc can “pinch” a nerve. This will result in pain down the arm or leg in the distribution of the nerve. That is- all nerves service a certain area of the extremity, either the arm, leg or chest (from a pinched nerve in the thoracic spine). If the nerve is pinched- the distribution (the area the nerve goes to) will have pain, numbness, pins and needles (paresthesias) and occasionally weakness of the muscles of that nerve.