Neck pain is a prevalent cause of discomfort and loss of both functionality and productivity for millions of people worldwide. It affects between 20 percent and 70 percent of people during their lifetime.
One of the causes of neck pain is pinched nerves. This occurs when the nerves in the cervical region of your spinal cord are compressed, stretched, or constricted. The burning, radiating, numbing pain that results from the compression of the nerve root can significantly impact your functioning and range of motion.
Everyday activities like lifting objects, sudden bending, and twisting can result in a pinched nerve. Physical therapists often suggest different exercises to relieve pain experienced by the trapped nerves.
If you often find yourself unable to carry on daily activities because of a pinched nerve in the neck, here are some exercises that may help you find some relief:
Rolling the Shoulders
Pinched nerves in the neck can result in a lack of movement, stiffness, and muscle tightness. Ease the tension by rolling your shoulders backward and forward to loosen the muscles and get relief from pain.
Here’s how you can free the tension in your shoulders and neck:
Step 1: Shrug your shoulders up and down to warm up the muscles.
Step 2: Rest for about 30 seconds.
Step 3: Roll your shoulders backward, bringing them up to your ear and then rolling them backward. Continue this exercise for about 60 seconds.
Step 3: Rest for about 30 seconds.
Step 4: Do the same motions as before, except this time you’ll roll your shoulders forward.
Tilt and Turn the Neck
Stretching the muscles in your neck will help relieve the pain and help you regain your range of motion.
Relieve pain through neck tilts and turns:
Step 1: Start with a neutral position with an upright posture.
Step 2: Extend your chin in toward the neck, feeling the nape of your neck stretching.
Step 3: Bring your head to its original resting position and extend the chin up toward the ceiling.
Step 4: Continue this process about 5 times. It will be difficult at first but you’ll slowly feel your muscles relaxing.
Step 5: Turn your head from side to side to relieve pain in the sides of the neck. Begin by turning it to your right, then returning to the resting position. Repeat this 5 times.
Step 6: Now turn your head to the left and bring it back to the resting position. Repeat this process 5 times.
Child’s Pose Stretch
Stretching can provide immediate relief from the sharp aching of a pinched nerve. Use this popular yoga stretch to release the built-up tension in your neck and back, stretching the affected area as well.
Here’s how you can do the child’s pose stretch to deliver immediate pain relief:
Step 1: Lay out a mat and get on your knees, make sure your knees are kept apart while your feet are kept close.
Step 2: When you’re sitting upright on your knees, straighten your posture and stretch your spine.
Step 3: Reach forward with your arms stretched upward toward the ceiling and bow forward with your arms straight ahead. Touch your forehead to the floor and feel the pull in your back as your muscles stretch.
Step 4: Hold this position for about 20 seconds before returning to your original position. Repeat this a few times until the pain subsides.
Get Professional Help
Exercise can provide temporary relief from pain but it may not be a viable long-term solution depending upon how severe your condition is. Leaving a pinched nerve untreated can result in more serious implications for your health and wellbeing.
If your pinched nerve pain persists, get help from the top neurosurgeons at Houston Neurosurgery & Spine. The specialists at our Neurosurgery Center Houston will provide a comprehensive treatment plan for your pinched nerve after assessing and diagnosing your condition.
Our treatment options are both non-surgical—including medication, physical therapy, and heat/cold therapy—as well as surgical—including microdiscectomy, spinal fusion, and laminectomy. Working closely with you, our experienced neurosurgeons will devise an effective treatment plan for you.
Contact us by calling at 832.522.8500 to schedule an appointment at our neck and spine center Houston today.