Home | Health | Nervous System | Pinched Nerves | How to Help a Pinched Nerve

How to Help a Pinched Nerve

by Aksana Nikolai
  • Overview

    A pinched nerve results from excessive pressure applied to a nerve by the muscles, bones, cartilages or tendons that surround it. Patients suffering from a pinched nerve may experience a "pins and needles" feeling, numbness, burning sensation or pain that radiates from the affected area. It is important to treat a pinched nerve, because it can precipitate other conditions, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and peripheral neuropathy.
 
  • Step 1

    Rest the affected area. Refrain from participating in activities that put further pressure on the nerve.
  • Step 2

    Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Step 3

    Speak to a doctor if a pincher nerve does not heal after several days or fails to respond to over-the-counter medications and rest. The doctor may recommend that you splint or brace the affected area in order to immobilize it. Patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome who have a pinched nerve in the wrist may need to immobilize the area both during the day and while sleeping; the carpel tunnel syndrome causes wrists to flex and move often during sleep. In addition, the doctor may prescribe prescription-strength anti-inflammatory drugs or administer corticosteroid injections.
  • Step 4

    Participate in physical therapy if your doctor instructs you to. The therapist can help you learn about exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in the affected area, which will relieve the pressure being put on the nerve. The therapist can also suggest how to modify the activities that irritate the nerve.
  • Step 5

    Treat the pinched nerve with surgery if it does not heal after several weeks to months, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Surgical procedures alleviate the pressure exerted on the nerve by severing the carpal ligament or removing a portion of a herniated disk in the spine or bone spurs.
  • 2
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers Corticosteroid injections Physical therapy Surgery
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery
  • Prevent future pinched nerves by making flexibility and stretch exercises part of you regular exercise routine, as well as engaging less in repetitive activities and taking frequent breaks when you do participate. Maintain a healthy weight and proper posture.
  • Prevent future pinched nerves by making flexibility and stretch exercises part of you regular exercise routine, as well as engaging less in repetitive activities and taking frequent breaks when you do participate. Maintain a healthy weight and proper posture.

References & Resources