A pinched nerve occurs when pressure or force is put on an area of a nerve, causing it to send warning signals to the brain. Pinched nerves are usually caused by a damaged nerve, and symptoms can include pain, numbness, and weakness.

    In this article, learn about how to reduce the symptoms of a pinched nerve and how to prevent them in the future.

    A pinched nerve may cause weakness, pain, tingling, or numbness.

    There are a variety of ways a person can relieve the pain of a pinched nerve at home.

    1. Extra sleep and rest

    Sleep is essential for a healing nerve. The body repairs itself during sleep, so giving it more time to do so may help reduce symptoms quicker.

    In many cases, resting the affected area and getting extra sleep is enough to allow the pinched nerve to heal on its own.

    While treating a pinched nerve, it is also important not to overuse the nerve. Nerve damage can be made worse by overuse. A person with a pinched nerve should avoid any movements that irritate the nerve. They should also try to sleep in a position that relieves the pressure on the nerve.

    2. Change of posture

    A pinched nerve may be caused by or made worse by poor posture. Sitting or standing with an incorrect posture for extended periods puts unnecessary stress on the body, which may damage the spine and muscles, leading to a pinched nerve.

    Using cushions, adjustable chairs, and neck rests when sitting may help relieve pressure and allow the nerve to heal.

    3. Ergonomic workstation

    People dealing with pinched nerves could try making changes in their workstation.

    Using an ergonomic mouse and keyboard may help reduce pressure in the hands and wrists. Raising a computer monitor to eye level may help reduce neck pain and symptoms of text neck.

    Using a standing workstation can help keep the spine moving and flexible, which could reduce back pain .

    Ergonomic workstations have a range of positional options, suitable for many types of pinched nerve. Standing desks are available for purchase online .

    The best way to find the right position is for an individual to experiment with the settings to see which position relieves pressure.

    4. Pain relieving medications

    Over-the-counter pain medications may also help with a pinched nerve. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce swelling and relieve pain in cases of minor pinched nerves.

    NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, are available for purchase over-the-counter or online .

    As with any drug, it is important to consult a doctor for dosage recommendations and any potential interactions before using NSAIDs.

    5. Stretching and yoga

    Gentle stretching and yoga may help relieve tension and pressure in the area. It is important not to stretch too deeply, as this may make symptoms worse.

    If a person experiences any pain or discomfort while exercising, they should stop immediately to avoid damaging the nerve any further.

    6. Massage or physical therapy

    Having a massage may also help reduce physical pain and stress. Applying gentle pressure around the affected area may help relieve tension, and a full body massage can help the muscles relax.

    Deep tissue massages may not be a good idea because the extra pressure may make the symptoms worse.

    Physical therapy , using a combination of exercise, massage, and gentle stretches, can help relieve symptoms.

    7. Splint

    If it is possible, wearing a splint on the affected area can help prevent further damage and help the nerve heal. This is a standard treatment for pinched nerves in the hands and wrists.

    Many people also sleep with the splint on to prevent any irritation in the night and help them sleep. The splint will help take pressure off the nerve.

    8. Elevate the legs

    People with pinched nerves in the back may find relief by elevating their legs to remove any pressure from the spine.

    A person can achieve this by putting a few pillows under their knees, so their legs are at a 45° degree angle to the body.

    9. Ice and heat packs

    Alternating between heat and ice packs can help reduce swelling and inflammation in many cases. The combination of hot and cold increases the circulation of fresh blood to the area, which may help relieve pain.

    Hold an ice pack over the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time, three times a day to help reduce inflammation. Heat pads can be applied for a longer period, up to 1 hour, three times a day.

    Ice packs and heat packs for injuries are available for purchase online.

    10. Lifestyle changes

    In the long-term, adding a low-impact exercise, such as walking, swimming, or bicycling, to a daily regimen may help reduce symptoms and keep the body in shape. Losing extra weight can help reduce pressure on the nerves, and the added mobility from a regular workout may reduce inflammation.

    Stretching before or after low-impact exercises can help keep the body flexible and reduce pressure and inflammation near the nerves.

    The warning signals sent by a pinched nerve may cause a few different symptoms in the body, especially in the area around the nerve.

    Signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

    • tingling
    • burning
    • numbness
    • pain
    • muscle weakness
    • stinging pain, such as pins and needles
    • the area may feel it has “fallen asleep”

    Symptoms may also be worse while lying down or just after waking up.

    A pinched nerve also puts a person more at risk for other problems. Symptoms of sciatica , tennis elbow , and carpal tunnel syndrome may appear in people with a pinched nerve.

    Pinched nerves can occur anywhere in the body but happen most often in the neck, back, elbows, and wrists.

    A pinched nerve typically happens when a nerve is damaged and cannot send regular signals to the brain, which may cause feelings of numbness and tingling.

    A pinched nerve can happen for a range of reasons. A herniated disc or bone spurs that are compressing the nerve may cause it. It may also be caused by arthritis in the area.

    Also, certain activities and habits can cause a pinched nerve. Sitting, standing, or walking with poor posture may contribute to a pinched nerve.

    Injuries from sports or repetitive actions may compress a nerve. Extra pressure and weight caused by obesity may also lead to pinched nerves.

    A pinched nerve is sending warning signs to the brain, so it is important that people listen to them. Anyone feeling pain from a pinched nerve that continues after regular treatments or lasts for more than a few days should report it to a doctor.

    There are a few symptoms that require medical attention as soon as possible, including:

    • a pinched nerve affecting the bladder
    • an inability to grip objects or a tendency to drop things
    • nerve damage that causes a limb or area of the body to give out or collapse

    Doctors may request imaging tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI ) or a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan, to get a better picture of the nerves and how they are affected. This will help narrow down treatment options, which include painkillers or corticosteroids, physical therapy, or, in severe cases, surgery.

    Surgical treatment comes with its risks and complications, so anyone considering surgery should work directly with their doctor to find a treatment plan that is right for their personal needs.

    Most pinched nerves are temporary and easily treated at home. Persistent symptoms may be a sign of more serious damage that requires medical care.

    Pinched nerves are mostly avoidable, and a good self-care routine can help reduce inflammation and keep pressure from building up around the nerves.

    Read the article in Spanish.

    What relieves pinched nerve pain?
    Below are 11 pinched nerve treatment options to try, depending on the exact location of your pinched nerve.
    1. Adjust your posture. “Sitting or laying in certain positions may help the pain,” says Chang.
    2. Use a standing desk.
    3. Reposition your keyboard.
    4. Invest in roller balls.
    5. Wear a wrist splint.
    6. Rest.
    7. Stretch.
    8. Apply ice packs.
    more
    What pain reliever is best for foot pain?
    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce swelling, providing relief for a few hours at a time and making them an excellent foot inflammation treatment. more
    What type of pain is chronic pain?
    Chronic pain is long standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis. Chronic pain may be "on" and "off" or continuous. It may affect people to the point that they can't work, eat properly, take part in physical activity, or enjoy life. more
    What type of pain is back pain?
    Axial pain. Also called mechanical pain, axial pain is confined to one spot or region. It may be described a number of ways, such as sharp or dull, comes and goes, constant, or throbbing. A muscle strain is a common cause of axial back pain as are facet joints and annular tears in discs. more
    What type of pain is aching pain?
    Nociceptive pain is a type of pain caused by damage to body tissue. People often describe it as being a sharp, achy, or throbbing pain. more
    Can labor pain feel like kidney pain?
    Contractions start in the abdominal muscles, but some women may feel pain in the kidney region. more
    What type of pain is labor pain?
    Pain During Labor and Delivery Pain during labor is caused by contractions of the muscles of the uterus and by pressure on the cervix. This pain can be felt as strong cramping in the abdomen, groin, and back, as well as an achy feeling. Some women experience pain in their sides or thighs as well. more
    Can hip pain mimic back pain?
    The pain can range in intensity from a dull ache to sharp sensations that affect your mobility and quality of life. Back pain can easily be mistaken for hip pain and discomfort. The joint of your hip is located near your spine. For that reason, injuries to your hip can resemble or actually cause back pain. more
    What is the best pain reliever for foot pain?
    Oral analgesic medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin are often the first line choice for quick relief of foot pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are also often recommended and can help to reduce inflammation at the same time. more
    Does a pain pump help with arthritis pain?
    Pain pumps can help patients with many types of issues. These include degenerative conditions, like osteoarthritis; pain stemming from cancer; diseases of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis; and nerve injuries related to medical conditions, autoimmune diseases, and accidents. more
    How much pain is too much pain?
    Severe Pain. When it intensifies to level 8, pain makes even holding a conversation extremely difficult and your physical activity is severely impaired. Pain is said to be at level 9 when it is excruciating, prevents you speaking and may even make you moan or cry out. Level 10 pain is unbearable. more

    Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com

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