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How can I Treat a Pinched Nerve?

By KD Morgan
Updated May 17, 2024
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon337561 — On Jun 06, 2013

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

By anon275627 — On Jun 19, 2012

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?

By anon201183 — On Jul 29, 2011

Chiropractor-- Find a good one!

By anon170422 — On Apr 26, 2011

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.

By anon90673 — On Jun 17, 2010

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.

By anon82707 — On May 07, 2010

Very helpful!

By anon61678 — On Jan 21, 2010

Yes, this article is helpful.

By anon32809 — On May 27, 2009

Can a pinched nerve in shoulder/neck generate dizziness?

By anon30414 — On Apr 18, 2009

Thank you, this article was helpful.

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