Brian R. Subach, MD, FACS is one of the most prominent spinal cord specialists in Virginia. One of the services offered at his practice is treatment for pinched nerves.
A pinched nerve is the result of too much pressure on a nerve by surrounding tissues. The pressure can result in excruciating pain unless treated.
When the extent of a pinched nerve is too serious, surgery is often the solution. However, there are home treatments you can try such as the following:
Treatments do not get much simpler than sleep. With enough rest and sleep, a pinched nerve will heal on its own.
The pinched nerve is exacerbated by movement and lack of movement helps the nerve heal. The position in which you sleep and rest should also not add any pressure to the nerve.
Gently stretching the area with the pinched nerve will also help it heal. The key is to stretch just enough to feel relief as too much defeats the purpose of stretching.
Yoga is a practice that can help a lot in this regard. A short session of yoga done at moderate intensity is recommended for maximum relief.
Pain medication can help with your pinched nerve, albeit for a short while. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will assist in reducing swelling and promoting pain relief in cases of minor pinched nerves.
You can buy a lot of pain medication over the counter or online. However, it is best to consult your doctor before using NSAIDs.
Physical therapists are recognized and licensed health professionals who can help with your pinched nerve. They will engage you in a series of exercises and stretches that will help alleviate the symptoms of the pinched nerve.
A massage is also a great option for reducing pain and stress resulting from a pinched nerve. Only a gentle massage is recommended as a deep tissue massage will add pressure to the area and make it worse.
Cold and Heat
The application of cold and heat to the area with the pinched nerve will help treat it when done alternatively. You should apply the ice for about 15 minutes, three times a day. You should apply heat to the area for about one hour at the same frequency.
Using heat and ice will decrease the level of inflammation, hence reducing swelling in the area. It will also improve blood circulation in the area which will also relieve the pain.
Change Your Posture
You can exacerbate a pinched nerve by sitting or standing with poor posture. Doing so puts additional stress on the area with the pinched nerve which worsens the situation.
You can try using reminders to adjust your posture whenever they alert you. You may also try other assistive devices such as splints, cushions, and neck rests to maintain proper posture.
A longer-term solution to deal with a pinched nerve is to make some lifestyle changes. One of the changes you can make that will help most is exercising. By strengthening your muscles and tissues, they are less likely to put pressure on a nerve.
Daily stretching is a practice that you can also adopt. Increasing the flexibility of your body reduces the chance of inflammation or added pressure near nerves.