Basic wear and tear that comes along with moving your neck and spine can irritate and compress the nerves of the neck, resulting in severe pain that can radiate from the neck and into the shoulders. In addition, a sudden injury can cause a pinched nerve in the neck. While anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections are common treatments, non-toxic, non-invasive options are available. Here are a few simple ways to ease your neck pain due to a pinched nerve.
Rest and Ice
After experiencing pain, visit your doctor. Using a series of tests that include physical manipulation of the neck to determine which positions are painful and x-rays or MRIs, your doctor can see if the nerves of your neck are compressed or inflamed.
In most cases, your doctor will recommend that you rest your neck and spine until your pain subsides. Consider applying a cold compress to your neck for a few minutes each day. The ice will numb your pain while improving blood circulation to ease inflammation.
You should definitely avoid bending your neck in any manner, but you must also avoid making any sudden movements. To reduce the risk of further irritation, wearing a cervical collar may be necessary. This collar will hold your neck in place, reducing the risk of permanent damage to the nerves in your neck.
Exercise is proven to be good for your health. Not only do certain exercises improve your cardiovascular health, but it also boosts your brain's production of endorphins. These natural chemicals flood your body, instantly improving your mood.
Unfortunately, certain exercises can cause further irritation to your nerves. Due to this risk, it is important to complete any exercises with the help of a physical therapist.
Shoulder shrugs are excellent movements to manage your pinched nerve pain, since the movement benefits both the shoulders and the neck. To get started, stand up straight and place your arms at your side. Slowly shrug your shoulders backwards a few times. Then, rotate your shoulders in the opposite direction a few times.
Your physical therapist may also suggest swimming to ease irritation in your neck. Swimming is a low-impact form of exercise that allows you to move tense muscles, ligaments, and joints without any physical or emotional stress.
Living with a pinched nerve is possible, but non-toxic and non-invasive treatment is available. With this guide and your doctor's help, you can reduce your neck pain in a safe, effective manner. Contact a clinic, like Beltline Chiropractic, for more help.