What to Do about That Pinched Nerve

in Overall Health by

A pinched nerve can do everything from making driving uncomfortable to making it impossible for you to go to work. Pinched nerves can feel like sharp, shooting pain that can make it difficult for you to move within your normal range of motion. However, there are many ways that you can quickly and carefully treat your body so that you can get back to your normal activities as soon as possible. Check out some of these home, lifestyle and practitioner remedies the next time that you have extra pressure in your neck, back, hand or leg.

Rest Comfortably

If your nerve is feeling pinched because you have overdone something physically, resting your muscles can take some of the pressure off your nerve. Also, watch your posture, which can greatly affect whether bones or muscles are regularly resting on a nerve.

Stretch Gently

Once your symptoms have resolved somewhat, try gentle stretching activities, such as those associated with yoga. The stretches you do will depend on your area of discomfort, but you may want to try spinal stretches and rotations and chest openers, which help chronic neck and back issues.

Use Heat or Ice Wisely

While ice can help inflammation that leads to pinched nerves, you may find that heat helps the most because it relaxes the surrounding tight muscles that may be pressing on a nerve.

Head to a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist

If at-home remedies are not working for you, try a professional, such as a chiropractor, who can manipulate your bones if they have gone out of alignment. Physical therapists can help you build up strength and teach you exercises that will keep you from injuring your nerve again.

Find a Neurologist

Sometimes, pinched nerves do not respond to these minimal treatments, and you may need to seek the care of a neurologist. Your compressed nerve treatment may include splints or braces, medication or surgery.

As you can imagine, the treatment you choose will depend on the extent of your problem. However, many of these treatments can provide immediate relief of at least some of the pressure and can get you back to smooth, comfortable movement. Plus, some options, such as physical therapy, can teach you more about your body, which can help you protect it the next time that you exercise, lift something heavy or tweak a nerve or muscle.