If your back has been hurting severely, you may have a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve can happen whenever pressure is placed on a nerve—such as a vertebra that is not aligned or poor posture causing excess pressure to certain nerve receptors. Typically, symptoms of a pinched nerve include pain and possible numbness or weakness around the affect area, sometimes even extending down a limb or whole side of the body.
What can be done about it? Aside from limiting the behavior that sets off the nerve, here are ten remedies for a pinched nerve, many of which can be done at home!
- Get some rest. Your body does the bulk of its healing while you are sleeping, so by giving your body some additional rest, you provide it extra time to work on healing that pinched nerve.
- Work on improving your posture. Even if your pinched nerve is not along your spine, an improved posture can reduce pressure on the affected nerve. Pinched nerves can be caused by compensatory movements related to poor posture. While at home and work, be sure to sit in an ergonomic position. While walking, be sure your shoulders are back and not rolled forward and that your chin is parallel to the ground. Avoid walking and looking at your phone too!
- Use natural or over the counter pain relievers. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen not only help minimize your pain, they also help with inflammation of your pinched nerve. Natural remedies can include essential oils (like lavender or peppermint), ginger, and turmeric.
- Daily stretching—or yoga. Both activities can help reduce tension in muscles and relive pressure along the affected nerve. It is important to note that intense activity could worsen the pinched nerve so gently stretching and simple poses are best. Should a movement cause more discomfort, stop and do not repeat this movement.
- Get a professional massage. Like stretching, a massage can help to relax and loosen muscles. By seeking the help of a professional massage therapist or trained masseuse, you can help ensure that no further damage is done from an improper movement or stretch.
- For a pinched nerve in the wrist, wear a splint. Splints help to minimize movement, which can help you to prevent unnecessary pressure to your affected nerve. Plus, lack of use will give the nerve time to heal.
- If its in your back, elevate your legs. Finding a sleep position is probably difficult if your pinched nerve is in your back. For many, sleeping with your legs elevated (45 degrees) can help take pressure off of the back and finally let you catch some of those Z’s. Plus, when you are well rested, your body can work on healing itself.
- Try some hot and cold therapy. Alternating between ice packs (15 minutes, three times a day) and heating pads (up to one hour, three times a day) around the affected can help reduce inflammation, which in turn can reduce the level of pain or discomfort you are having. Heat also increases blood flow, and your blood helps carry oxygen and nutrients necessary for your body to heal and repair itself.
- Engage in low-impact exercise. Some activities, like walking, swimming or biking can help keep your muscles fit and reduce the likelihood of a pinched nerve. Depending on where your pinched nerve is, some light exercise can help to stretch the affected area and alleviate pressure. Routine fitness activities also help minimize inflammation.
- This is a particular type of massage where pressure points are applied and certain parts of the feet are massaged or have pressure applied with the intent that these areas correlate to other areas of the body and can promoted healing, relaxation, and overall wellness.
Schedule a relaxation massage or reflexology massage at the renowned Brandon spa—Essentials Massage & Spa—and find potential relief for your pinched nerve.
The information in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or substitute as medical advice. This blog is solely for informational purposes only.