A compressed or pinched nerve in neck regions is a type of nerve root injury. People that experience this kind of injury can feel pain radiating from the neck through the shoulder to the arm. There is a medical term for this type of injury: cervical radiculopathy. If you think you are experiencing this condition, it is important not to ignore the pain.
How to tell if you have a pinched nerve in neck
There are some common symptoms that will tell you if you are experiencing a pinched nerve. You will have sharp pain that will travel down the arm. You can also experience what is known commonly as pins and needles. Sometimes a pinched nerve can also result in numbness.
The pain may also intensify when you turn your head or strain your neck too much. You can get some temporary relief by placing your hand on your head and stretching your shoulder. But if you find that the pain doesn’t diminish with this, you may have to consult a doctor and seek therapy.
A pinched nerve occurs when there is undue pressure on the nerve. This may happen due to repetitive motions. Holding the same position for a long time such as keeping your elbows folded while you sleep can also lead to a pinched nerve.
Note that a pinched nerve in the neck can lead to symptoms in your wrists and fingers besides affecting your arms and shoulders. If left untreated, it can lead to more severe conditions like tennis elbows, carpal tunnel syndrome and peripheral neuropathy or cause damage to the nervous system.
Pinched Nerve in Neck Treatment
Depending on how long the condition lasts and how severe the pain is, pinched nerve can take different durations to heal.
◆ In a large number of cases it is enough to avoid straining the neck and arm region by resting the injured area.
◆ If the pain persists, see a doctor for medication to shrink the tissue that has swollen around the affected nerve.
◆ If the condition is very severe, doctors may have to remove some tissues or materials pressing down on the injured nerve. This may include pieces of bone, disc material and scar tissue.
Pinched nerve in neck treatments may include some of the following treatments –
If you experience severe pain, doctors may prescribe analgesic drugs for a brief period for pain relief.
2. Oral Corticosteriods:
Doctors may also prescribe corticostreiods to reduce pain and control inflammation and swelling.
Some drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin, which are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may be prescribed to bring down the swelling of tissue near the affected nerve.
4. Steroid Injections of steroid:
Doctors may prescribe steroid injections if the condition is too severe. Steroid injections give almost immediate relief in reducing inflammation and are more effective than oral steroids.
5. Physical therapy:
A physiotherapist may help you with certain physical exercises to stretch your muscles and make them stronger.
6. Soft collar or splint:
Your doctor may put the affected area in a splint, to provide the affected area support and time to heal.
If the above solutions don’t help in healing your pinched nerve in neck condition, your doctor may prescribe surgery.
Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you are unable to heal a pinched nerve problem with rest.
Pinched nerve in neck (Cervical Radiculopathy) is a medical condition that causes so much discomfort in the neck, shoulder and arm region. This condition arises when a spinal nerve is subjected to compression or pressure.
Normally, nerves are protected by soft tissues, however, once they pass through hard tissues like ligaments, tendons and bones, they become susceptible to compression and pressure. The hard tissues exert excess pressure on the nerves leading to a nerve root injury. This injury in turn leads to pain in the neck region which sometimes extends to the shoulders and arms.
Pinched nerve in neck has a number of causes.
Herniated discs, arthritis and bone spurs are the common causes of this condition. The three medical conditions are the most common causes since they are classified as normal aging processes. As human beings age, spine discs and bone wear down, the changes in the two exert pressure on spinal nerves thus injuring them.
Aside from the above medical conditions, holding your body in the same position for an extended period of time often results in this condition. While sleeping for example, most people tend to maintain one sleeping position. Depending on your sleeping position, you may end up exerting too much pressure in one area of the body. This pressure is in turn exerted on the nerves around that area.
Pinched nerve in neck symptoms
Some people suffer from this condition without knowing it.
However, it is easy to know when to associate that sharp pain in your neck with a pinched nerve in neck. If the pain in your neck is accompanied by a tingling sensation, numbness, muscle spasms and weakness, burning sensation and pain when turning the head, chances are that you are suffering from this condition.
However, these symptoms vary from one individual to another; in some cases you may experience one of the above symptoms without the pain.
The treatment of this condition depends on the severity and cause.
Mild cases can be treated at home while severe cases need to be handled by qualified personnel.
It is recommended that you take plenty of rest to allow your body to heal itself naturally. Avoid moving your neck, arm and shoulders as this will worsen the pain and increase the swelling. Neck braces are recommended to aid you hold the neck muscles together.
In order to improve circulation in the affected area,subject the area to heat treatment. Introduce heat in the affected area using a heat pad, hot water bottle or take a hot shower .
Ice is for injuries — calming down damaged tissues that are inflamed, red, hot and swollen.
Heat is for muscles — taking the edge off the pain of whole muscle spasms and trigger points (localized spasms, or muscle knots).
In severe cases, sophisticated modes of treatment are used. These include:
1.Narcotics, steroids injections and oral corticosteroids are recommended for their anti swelling and anti inflammatory effects.
2.Physical therapy is used to strengthen the weakened muscles.
3.Surgery is the recommended when there is need to get rid of the tissues pressing unto the nerves.
Pinched nerve in neck is a condition that can affect anyone. It is important for you to understand this condition as this knowledge will equip you with the required skills to handle this condition when it occurs.
Pinched nerve in neck occurs when too much of pressure is applied to a particular nerve. It can be caused due to soft tissue irritation, muscle spasm, ligament calcification, infection or tumor. This pressure leads to compression and it disrupt s the nerve’s functioning leading to pain, tingling sensation, weakness and in extreme cases numbness.
As nerves are the most vulnerable part of human body and travel through narrow spaces, they can be compressed due to pressure, repetitive motion or degeneration. Nerves are basically electrical cords which carry messages from brain to the human body and vice versa. A pinched nerve in neck can cause pain, neck stiffness and in severe cases the pain may radiate down to the arm.
The pain caused by pinched nerve may vary from mild-to-moderate or moderate-to-severe. Very often pain is the only symptom and in certain cases pain is associated with radicular pain or ‘pins and needles’ sensation and in extreme cases stiffness.
Pinched nerve in neck is the most common ailment and experienced by most people at some points in life. If this condition is caused by muscle tweaks or slight injury, this can be treated with home remedies and it may abate after some days. Generally the pain is localized initially and if treated at the right time it may prevent further deterioration and damage.
Just like other things, a pinched nerve can be prevented from further damage and the risk can be minimized by prevention:
- Right sleeping position: Sleeping position plays a vital role on neck pain. The two sleeping positions best for the neck are on your back or on your side. Avoid sleeping on your stomach as that will put pressure on your spine and will not provide support.
- Right Pillows: Back sleepers must use a rounded pillow to support the neck curve or tuck in a small neck roll to fit the curve. They can also use a special pillow that has an inbuilt neck support. Additionally back and side sleepers can use a feather pillow, traditional pillow with a memory from, or use a specially designed neck pillow. This kind of pillow will provide you comfort and reduce the stabbing pain. It will also lessen your pain while you sleep and will pad the muscles around your neck. People who are travelling too often on plane, train, or car can use a horseshoe pillow to support the neck.
- Avoid Hard and high pillows: The height of the pillow must be such that it keeps your head and neck properly aligned while sleeping. Too stiff pillow will result in morning pain and neck stiffness.
- Opt for cervical traction neck pillow: Variety of cervical pillows is available to provide cervical support while sleeping.
Besides right positioning you can incorporate some home remedies for instant relief in pinched neck:
- Heat and cold therapy: In order to reduce inflammation and increase blood circulation, apply heat and cold pads on the pinched nerve area.
- Low impact exercise: Light muscle exercises like stretching of the neck, rolling of the neck, or gently turning neck from one side to other can relieve compression.
- Massage: Gently massage the pinched nerve area as this will relax the surrounding muscles and heal the nerve.
- Rest: The best remedy for pinched nerve in neck area is to take rest. Avoid over working and repetitive movements of neck. Take ample sleep to repair the wear and tear. This will naturally heal your nerve.
In a nutshell, research studies demonstrate that pinched nerve in neck can be cured if diagnosed and treated initially. Noninvasive techniques like mild analgesic, right position of sleeping and cervical pillows play a vital role in warding off mild-to-moderate neck pain.
Suffering from a pinched nerve in neck will usually cause constant discomfort and lowered mobility. What many people do not know, however, is that this is a physical development that can have a number of significant consequences if left unchecked.
People often sustain these injuries as the result of jarring events, such as auto accidents or physical blows that impact the upper or mid-torso. A pinched nerve in neck can also be caused by poor sleeping habits, repetitive motions and bad posture. Not only is this a sign of spinal compression, but it is also warning from the body concerning nerve to brain communication.
How The Body Is Affected By A Pinched Nerve In Neck
Vital messages that must be relayed to the brain are transmitted by the nerves via the spine. With proper spinal alignment, the transmission and delivery of these messages is flawless. When disc compression or pinched nerves exist, however, these signals become compromised and the related systems or functions will be affected.
People who delay in receiving therapeutic treatments to address subluxated or misaligned spinal areas will usually have lowered immune system functioning and can even develop chemical imbalances within the brain. These imbalances can result in mood swings, severe depression, fatigue, congestion and a range of other problems. Sadly, most people do not associate these symptoms with the underlying problem, which is ultimately poor or compromised spinal health.
Overcompensation In Other Body Areas
In addition to disrupting nerve to brain communication, a pinched nerve in neck is indicative of a major physical imbalance. With good spinal alignment, each muscle group in the body will only need to do its intended job.
As the vertebrae shift or are shifted out of their natural positions, however, certain muscles are going to have to work a lot harder in order to support the body. This is all the more true when operating machinery or equipment, changing elevations or engaging in any other physically challenging activity.
This extra stress can result in muscle spasms, tension headaches, shoulder and back pain and a range of other issues.
Different Therapies For A Pinched Nerve In Neck
When it comes to addressing compressed nerves, subluxated discs and other issues concerning the spine, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Back specialists and chiropractors must assess each patient and create care plans that are both individualized and integrated.
Thus, various therapeutic methods are likely to be used according to the location and severity of the subluxation, compression or other problems and symptoms. More importantly, any adjustments that are made to improve spinal alignment and health are performed as part of a series, over time.
Massage can be employed to alleviate the stress and tension that overcompensation has caused in various muscle groups and manual adjustments will likely be made to gradually shift the vertebrae back into their normal positions. When jarring events have caused subluxations throughout various areas of the spine, some providers may also rely on tools like inversion tables in order to lengthen the spine and further alleviate pressure.
As proper alignment is restored, nerve to brain communication will improve and each muscle group can attend to its own duties. Thus, a proper treatment will not merely address symptoms, but will instead correct the underlying causes for these. Pain medications might dull the discomfort that a pinched nerve in neck causes, but these drugs will due little to foster improvements in a person’s overall health and functions.
Experiencing a pinched nerve in neck is hurtful, painful and very devastating. All what a person wants is to get rid of the pain and get back to their normal life.
Causes of pinched nerves
Pinched nerve comes as a result of pressure on the nerves from a damaged disc, inflammation, muscle tear, injury, arthritis, or any other disease.
Symptoms of pinched nerve neck
Symptoms of pinched nerves include pain in the neck, numbness, weakness or tingling in your extremities. The pain moves from the vertebra through the shoulder and then down the arms into the fingers.
How to get rid of pinched nerve in the neck?
1. Understand the diagnosis
Before you decide on any kind of treatment, there is need to fully understand the diagnosis. A pinched nerve in the neck can be caused by compression to the nerve, bone spurs, or a herniated, arthritis. If the symptoms include numbness, sharp pains, muscle spasms and muscle weakness, this can be signs that the condition is pinched nerve.
2. Get enough rest
The best way to get rid of pinched nerve pains is to rest. One should avoid overworking the neck by doing repetitive movements or heavy lifting. You can sleep for some extra hours as this is the natural way of giving your body some time to repair its damaged tissues.
3. Use brace or splint to immobilize the injured body part
For pinched neck pains, one can use neck brace to help in holding the muscles still throughout the day. This can be very effective in healing pinched nerves in your neck.
4. Ice and heat
Pinched nerves can be painful and swollen. To ease the pain, swelling, and increase blood circulation you can use ice and heat on the area of pinched nerve. Apply ice 3 to 4 times within 15 minutes to reduce inflammation. After icing, use hot water bottle or heat pad to increase blood flow which in turn speeds up the healing process.
Applying pressure to the affected part can reduce tension and pain. A full body massage will induce relaxation in all the muscles which will in turn relax the affected body part as well. One can also get a massage near the pinched nerve area as this will give more specific relief and help the nerve to heal. However, even as you massage you should avoid intense deep-tissue massage and pressure as this can worsen the pinched nerve leading to increased pain.
6. Take medication
Pinched nerves can be haled with the use of medication. One can try taking non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs to ease pain and swelling. These medicines may include aspirin and ibuprofen. There are also some medicines that are specifically meant for pinched nerve treatment.
7. Healthy diet
When it comes to pinched nerve, there are food substances that can help in the treatment. For example:
Increased calcium intake can be helpful. One should eat calcium rich food which includes cheese, milk, yogurt, and vegetables such as spinach and Kales. One can also decide to purchase calcium supplement.
Fewer intake of acidic foods. This should be avoided during the healing process. Such foods include; citrus fruits and coffee.
More foods with potassium.Pinched nerve in the neck can be caused by lack of potassium. To rectify potassium deficiency, eat foods rich in potassium. These foods increase; bananas, avocados, nuts and apricots. One can also drink fluids like orange juice and skim milk to help in potassium absorption.
Exercises can also help in healing pinched nerve. You can exercise your neck placing minimal amount of stress on the affected area. Inactivity can lead to muscle weakness which can slow the rate of healing.
Don’t allow pinched nerve in neck hinder you from carrying out your daily activities. With the above tips on how to get rid of pinched nerve in neck you will be more fit and healthy!
The best way to prevent pinched nerve in neck is to adapt a healthy lifestyle. The causes of the problem may be many and diverse, but the leading predisposing factors are all lifestyle related.
To begin with, you are advised to avoid the habit of slouching or getting used to a head-forward posture. Instead, get used to sitting upright with your lower back perfectly supported, feet flat on the surface, and shoulders completely relaxed. Avoid sitting for long hours without changing positions. You are also advised to get up and stretch after every 30 minutes or so. This will not only prevent the problem but will also boost your productivity.
If you use a computer, desktop or laptop, adjust its screen such that the top of the computer’s screen is at your eye level. Where possible, use a document holder that places your work at your eye level. Also, if you use telephone a lot at home or in the office, consider using headset or speaker phone. Most importantly, do not cradle the phone on your shoulder as many people do. This will cause your neck muscles to strain more than it is necessary.
For those who have cars, the most ideal measure to take is to adjust the car seat into an upright position that supports the head and the lower back perfectly. It is also important to ensure that only the arms reach out to the steering wheel while the other body parts remains fixed comfortably in their original position.
Notice that sleeping posture is another pinched nerve in neck predisposing factor. Ensure that you use pillows that keep your neck straight. If you have suffered from pinched nerve in neck complications before, you are advised to use special types of pillows, called cervical pillows. As a rule, do not sleep on your stomach with your neck twisted. Simply put, ensure that your sleeping posture does not put unnecessary strain on your neck muscles.
Other important prevention measures include maintaining healthy weight and exercising regularly. Obesity is one of the major causes of pinched nerves. This health condition puts a lot of strain on nerves in different parts of the body. To prevent pinched nerve incidences, extra weight pounds must be shed off. Exercise has also been found to be an ideal way of dealing with pinched nerve in neck. The best exercises are those that focus on strength-training and those that engage the whole body, including swimming and biking.
I am greatly convinced that prevention is better than cure.For you and your family have a healthy physique,adapt a healthy lifestyle.
Pinched nerve in neck is a condition that occurs as a result of nerve compression in the neck region and pain is one of its major symptoms.The body sends pain as a warning signal when the nerves extend from your spinal cord and brain.It is important to get a diagnosis and treatment for this condition as early as possible in order to avoid severe damage.Any pressure on a nerve causes pinched nerves and this occurs when the nerve is pressed by body tissues.
You can treat a pinched nerve in the neck by yourself.Some simple home exercises will be very helpful in alleviating the symptoms.
The easiest way to deal with pinched nerve in neck is to do some exercises. There are several exercises that are quite effective.
☞ The first exercise requires you, as patient suffering from the problem, to stand straight. Then, as you look straight ahead, tilt your head towards the right shoulder. After that, bring the neck slowly to its original upward position and then tilt it towards the left shoulder. Of great importance, ensure that every right and left movement is controlled and not jerky. The recommended neck stretch is at least 6 times about 3 times a day.
☞ The second exercise is also very simple. Stand straight, and then bring your hands close to the thighs. Next, stick your chin in and bring your head forward, as if you are going to bring your chin to the chest. From there, gently lift up your head while allowing your chin to remain tucked in. Bend your neck backwards as far as possible. Repeat this exercise up to 7 times about 3 times a day.
Besides these two exercises, there are other simple, yet effective exercises that can be used for treating nerve in neck complication.
☞ One of these exercises is walking. This exercise falls squarely in the category of low-impact aerobics. This simple exercise has been found to be very effective in relieving pain caused by a pinched nerve. It must be noted that walking increases circulation and aids in improving overall health. As you start your walking program, it is advisable to start slow then work your way up until you can walk for 60 minutes. Alternate your walking pace. First, walk for 10 minutes at the normal pace and then walk faster for 5 minutes. Continue alternating during the whole workout session.
☞ Yoga is also an excellent way of dealing with pinched nerve in neck. On its part, yoga is essential in increasing flexibility and reducing muscle tension. You may need to understand that the pain coming from the neck is caused by nothing else besides muscle tension. Yoga, luckily, will help you relax body muscles, including those to be found on the neck.
Stretching and isometric exercises are also helpful in combating pinched nerve in neck problem. As a patient, however, you must understand that these exercises are effective, yes, but will serve you best if you consult your doctor first. All the best as you deal with the problem.