Pinched Nerve in Back – Symptoms, Treatment and Exercises
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.
The warning signals sent by a pinched nerve may cause a few different symptoms in the body, especially in the area around the nerve.
A pinched nerve may cause weakness, pain, tingling, or numbess.
Signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
stinging pain, such as pins and needles
the area may feel it has "fallen asleep"
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 postureA 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 workstationPeople 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 medicationsOver-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. Massage or Osteopathy
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.