Getting Relief With the Right Pinched Nerve Treatment
Have you been diagnosed with a pinched nerve? Or 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.
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 you relieve it? Let’s take a look at pinched nerve treatment options that can relieve some of your discomforts.
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. 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.
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.
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 relieve your symptoms for now, until you can get the help you need.
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.
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.
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? Use the BetterPT website 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.