Getting Relief With the Right Pinched Nerve Treatment
Have you been diagnosed with a pinched nerve? Maybe you recently visited your doctor’s office and they suspect that you may have a pinched nerve in your lower back, arm, hip, or elsewhere.
A pinched nerve can occur due to nerve damage, injury, or structures around it causing compression. It may cause symptoms like tingling, numbness, burning, pain, severe lower back pain, or muscle weakness. Further, these symptoms may get worse when you sit or lie down. They may also be worse first thing in the morning, especially in your hands and wrists. This type of pain is sometimes attributed to arthritis pain, but it can be the result of a pinched nerve, too.
Undoubtedly, a pinched nerve in your neck, back, or shoulder isn’t exactly a walk in the park. In reality, it makes daily life a little more difficult. So, how can find pain relief for this condition? Let’s take a look at pinched nerve treatment options that can relieve some of your discomfort. These are not always going to work right away. In some cases, you’ll need to do more than adjust your car seat for back pain or do therapeutic yoga poses.
Solving a Pinched Nerve in Your Shoulder Blade, Neck, or Back
First and foremost, you should get your condition checked out by a physical therapist. Seeing a physical therapist for pinched nerves is recommended for a few reasons. Namely, these two:
- They can prescribe exercises and the best course of treatment for a pinched nerve to help reduce pain.
- They will also perform various manual techniques to help alleviate this discomfort.
In addition to their suggestions for addressing a pinched nerve in your neck and shoulder or other area, here are some additional tips for reducing your pain at home.
1. Pinched nerve treatment gets a boost with enough sleep
Sleep helps heal the body. It’s the time where the body restores and refreshes. A lack of sleep can increase a person’s pain levels. Pain can also cause you to not get enough sleep depending on how severe the pinched nerve is in your upper back or elsewhere. It’s a tricky dilemma but do your best.
Your body rests better when you go to bed and wake up at around the same time each morning and night. Sleep in a comfortable position to avoid additional pain, like from a pinched sciatic nerve.
Take some time to think about your bedroom. Is it quiet, cool, and dark? This will help trigger your brain and body to sync with your circadian rhythms. If you’re finding it hard to get a full night’s sleep due to a pinched nerve in your hip, for example, try taking power naps for some extra rest throughout the week.
2. Fix your workstation to address pain from a pinched nerve in your back
Do you work at a desk all day? Try adjusting it to be more ergonomically friendly. Make sure your elbows are in line with your keyboard. Ensure your feet are on the ground and your back is on the backrest. Adjust your monitor to eye height.
These small changes can improve your posture and prevent aches and pains, especially if you’re suffering from a pinched nerve in your shoulder or upper back, or if you have heel pain that extends to your legs.
3. If the pain is severe enough, take over-the-counter medication
If you can’t sleep or function due to the pain from a pinched nerve in your shoulder blade or elsewhere, it may be best to temporarily take pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen. This can help with pain relief of symptoms for now, until you can get the help you need from a physical therapy professional.
If you sit in an office all day, stretch every 1-2 hours. Otherwise, try and stretch at least a few times a day. Focus on your hamstrings, piriformis, glutes, lower back, and hip flexors. These stretches can be especially therapeutic if you suffer from a pinched sciatic nerve, a common condition for runners that often sends shooting pains down the leg. One popular solution is yoga for hips and shoulders. Yoga and physical therapy go hand in hand for many – so consider looking into it!
5. Try heat or ice packs on the pinched nerve
Heat or ice can also work well to alleviate pain from a pinched nerve in your back, neck, hip, etc. Apply heat or ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. Make sure to place a cloth in between the heat or ice device and your skin – this prevents the skin from becoming damaged. Wait about 45 minutes in between each application.
6. Consider aquatic therapy to treat pain from pinched nerves
Many physical therapists and doctors recommend different kinds of physical therapy to treat pain of varying types. Aquatic rehabilitation has numerous benefits for people across the age spectrum. Pool exercises can be done year-round, and they have been proven to cause less wear and tear and stress on already injured parts of the body. This means that healing happens faster – and people can have fun while doing it.
Another benefit of using a pool for pain relief is that many people have access to a pool outside of a physical therapy facility. Community centers, home pool exercises and even using the pool at a friend or family member’s house are options. Whether you’re swimming laps, floating and stretching or doing pre-approved water-based exercises, you’ll help yourself heal and get stronger as time passes.
Find a Specialist for Your Pinched Nerve Treatment
Are you unsure how to find the kind of physical therapist you need to assist with a pinched nerve in your leg, arm, or back? Looking to find ways to help with lower back pain relief after having a baby? Use the BetterPT clinic location tool website or the BetterPT mobile app to find a physical therapist that specializes in this type of treatment near you.
Browse clinics nearby online and select the one that works for you. Then, book an appointment without even needing a doctor’s referral. Direct access for physical therapy makes it easier than ever to get the help you need from a professional. Work toward solving your pinched nerve pain. The sooner you do that, the sooner you’ll be able to live the life you’ve always wanted.
Dr. Marla Ranieri graduated from Stanford University with her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology in 2005 and went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2009. She has worked with all types of individuals, including professional athletes as part of the USA Gymnastics Medical Staff. Marla continues to treat patients with evidence-based medicine and the best quality of care.