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How can I Treat a Pinched Nerve?

Treating a pinched nerve involves rest, gentle stretches, and over-the-counter pain relief. Applying heat or ice can reduce inflammation, while physical therapy may prevent future injuries. For severe cases, a doctor might recommend medication or surgery. Each step is crucial for recovery—want to see how these treatments look in action? Continue with us for a visual guide to soothing your nerves.
KD Morgan
KD Morgan

It is difficult to treat a pinched nerve since the main cure is rest. This may include the use of a brace or splint to protect and support the area surrounding the nerve. When an injury causes too much pressure, or compression, to be applied by surrounding cartilage, bones, tissue or tendons, a pinched nerve may result. Once the nerve pathways are disrupted, severe pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness will occur.

The best you can do when you have a pinched nerve is to address the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the distressed area. In most cases, the cause is that the surrounding tissue has become inflamed and stressed from some injury. The main treatment options are physical therapy, massage or even medication.

Acupressure and gentle massage can be used to treat a pinched nerve.
Acupressure and gentle massage can be used to treat a pinched nerve.

When treating a pinched nerve, it is important to locate and isolate the source, as it can occur in any area of the body. For example, a herniated disk can cause sciatica pain to run down the back of the leg. The neck and shoulders are common areas to get a pinched nerve, as are the wrists and elbows.

Acupressure and acupuncture can be used successfully to treat a pinched nerve. They are both believed to release blockages in the energy flow. When a blockage occurs in a meridian channel, it is thought that inflammation and swelling can cause compression on a nerve. By releasing the blockage and resuming the natural energy flow throughout the body, the surrounding tissue will relax, followed by the nerve.

Acupuncture may treat a pinched nerve.
Acupuncture may treat a pinched nerve.

Anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and gentle massage can greatly alleviate the intensity of the pain, as these methods calm the surrounding areas and reduces the swelling and pressure. In most cases, massage can be useful to manipulate the muscles to relax. This will often provide some relief until the damaged tissue can heal and remove the pressure.

The main treatment for a pinched nerve is rest.
The main treatment for a pinched nerve is rest.

In extreme cases, a medical professional may have to treat a pinched nerve with surgery. If your condition continues for months, surgery may be required to remove bone spurs or a herniated disk, or to sever a carpal ligament. When surgery or a brace is inappropriate, based on the location, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce the pain and inflammation.

A man with a pinched nerve in his wrist.
A man with a pinched nerve in his wrist.

You can often avoid pinched nerves by using common sense. Maintaining a healthy weight and good posture, performing flexing exercises such as yoga and stretching, and reducing repetitive and over-strenuous work will go a long way in preventing this painful condition.

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Discussion Comments

anon337561

This article was seriously helpful because I tried to crack my friend's thumb and ended up giving her a pinched nerve.

anon275627

Yes, pinched nerves in your neck can cause dizziness.

Broken finger guy: Suck it up and go to a Patient First. You've done damage to the nerves in your finger and unless you address the issue you could end up with permanent damage/complete loss of feeling in your finger.

What's more important: your health, or money?

anon201183

Chiropractor-- Find a good one!

anon170422

I'm 16 and fractured my finger. it has been numb for 5 days and it won't go away. i don't have insurance so i don't want to see a doctor. I'm in need of huge help. please reply.

anon90673

I agree with the acupressure. I have been suffering with a herniated disk for three months and this was the only thing that works in my opinion.

anon82707

Very helpful!

anon61678

Yes, this article is helpful.

anon32809

Can a pinched nerve in shoulder/neck generate dizziness?

anon30414

Thank you, this article was helpful.

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    • Acupressure and gentle massage can be used to treat a pinched nerve.
      By: lunamarina
      Acupressure and gentle massage can be used to treat a pinched nerve.
    • Acupuncture may treat a pinched nerve.
      By: Max Tactic
      Acupuncture may treat a pinched nerve.
    • The main treatment for a pinched nerve is rest.
      By: Warren Goldswain
      The main treatment for a pinched nerve is rest.
    • A man with a pinched nerve in his wrist.
      By: Serenethos
      A man with a pinched nerve in his wrist.
    • A woman with neck pain from a pinched nerve.
      By: Yuri Arcurs
      A woman with neck pain from a pinched nerve.