How To Release A Pinched Nerve In The Shoulder

Have you experienced a pinched nerve in your shoulder?

You’re not alone—it’s one of the most common types of nerve pain. In fact, approximately 85 out of 100,000 people in the United States experience pinched nerves every year.

A pinched nerve in your neck or shoulder area can be debilitating, making everyday activities—like lifting a package or turning your head—next to impossible.

In this article, we will identify what a pinched nerve in the shoulder is and how to release a pinched nerve in the shoulder and neck areas to treat it.

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve of the neck is a common condition that results from inflammation and compression in the cervical spine. The condition can cause pain and numbness or a tingling in your arms, as well as other symptoms.

You may be more likely to develop cervical radiculopathy as you get older. In addition, people who are overweight or have diabetes are also at risk for this condition.

Cervical radiculopathy often starts with pain and numbness in your neck and shoulder, which may radiate down into your arm. You may also feel numbness or tingling in your fingers. Your muscles may feel weak or stiff, making it difficult to hold onto objects such as a coffee mug or toothbrush.

What Causes Pinched Nerves?

If you’re older, chances are you’ve dealt with a pinched nerve or two. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 70% of us will experience shoulder and neck pain at some point in our lifetimes.

The primary cause of this condition is typically an injury to the nerve root itself or surrounding structures such as bones, ligaments, discs, muscles, and tendons.

As we get older, these disks go through wear and tear. They become dry as they lose water content and grow stiffer. This drying out results in the disk losing height and forming bulging bone spurs. These degenerative conditions lead to spondylosis and arthritis.

Younger people may also suffer from a pinched nerve. Pulling, twisting, lifting, and bending can all cause injuries that put undue pressure on the nerve roots leading to pain and weakness in affected areas.

The following people or individuals with the following conditions are also more susceptible to pinched nerves:

  • Assembly line workers, typists, and anyone who does repetitive work
  • Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis bone spurs
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • People on long bed rest due to disability or disease
How To Release A Pinched Nerve In The Shoulder at Sunrise Chiropractic

How to Release a Pinched Nerve in the Shoulder

Worried about how to treat a pinched nerve in the shoulder and neck areas? These handy tips will help you get relief without worsening your condition.

Rest the Affected Area

We all know that good rest is one of the best things we can do to heal from an injury. If you have pinched nerves, rest your shoulders and arms for a few days. Doing this will give them time to heal and prevent any further damage from occurring.

Elevate Your Arms

Resting your hand on top of your head can temporarily reduce the pressure on the nerve root due to pinched nerves; doing so helps ease some of the stress.

Use Heat and Cold Therapy

One of the best ways for how to release a pinched nerve in your shoulder is to use ice and heat packs. You can effectively relieve the inflammation and swelling that causes pinched nerves by using hot and cold therapy.

Apply a hot-cold pack for about 15 minutes at a time, alternating between heat and cold packs every 30 minutes or so. You can also use ice packs for 15 minutes at a time and then follow them up with heat packs for another 15 minutes.

Alternating between heat and cold increases blood circulation in the affected area, reducing the swelling and inflammation.

Get a Gentle Massage

If you’ve ever had a pinched nerve, you know how painful it can be to get a massage. Luckily, there are ways to get the benefits of a massage without the pain.

Massage therapists will often ask whether or not you have any injuries or medical conditions before they start working on you. However, if they don’t ask about it specifically (or if they don’t believe your answer), tell them about your pinched nerve condition before they start working on the affected area.

Sleep Well

The most important thing you can do for yourself when you have a pinched nerve is getting the rest you need. It is only during sleep that the body can repair itself. Aim for a full night’s rest of at least 7-8 hours. Also, avoid sleeping in positions that impact the affected area.

Improve Your Posture

We’re all guilty of slouching, but it’s important to remember that poor posture can compress and irritate the nerves in your neck, leading to a pinched nerve in your shoulder. Even though you’re just sitting at a desk or standing the entire day for your job, it’s important to be aware of your posture.

Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself from slouching while sitting at work:

  • Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Your chest should be open and slightly forward as well.
  • Open up your hips and keep them open by shifting them forward when sitting down. Many people tend to sit with their legs together, crossed at the ankles. This position can cause the hips to close off and stiffen. Relaxing these muscles will help relieve pressure on your lower back and knees as well as improve circulation throughout your lower body.
  • Finally, try not to sit still too long—set a timer if necessary! This will help remind you every hour or so.

Use a Soft-Cervical Collar

Soft cervical collars, also known as cervical neck collars, are a great way to provide support for your neck and shoulder area, allowing you to rest your head without pain.

These collars also help keep your head from tipping too far forward, which can cause more pain. However, bear in mind that these collars are a short-term solution because extended wear can lead you to lose muscle strength.

Try Losing Weight

Ouch! It’s tough to be overweight. You’re not just carrying a few extra pounds—you’re carrying a lot of additional stress on your nerves. And that’s bad news for your pinched nerve condition.

If you want to relieve the pressure on your nerves, it might be time to try something new: low-impact exercises for losing weight. These exercises, such as swimming, walking, and cycling, aren’t as strenuous, and together with eating well, will improve your mood and help you shed off the pounds.

Consider an Epidural Injection

There are many ways to treat a pinched nerve, but one of the best options is to get an epidural injection.

An epidural injection is a safe and easy way to provide instant relief to your pinched nerve. The injections use a combination of anesthetic and steroid medication to give you instant pain relief that can last for weeks or even months.

The procedure is quick and simple, and there are no side effects, so you can get back on your feet faster!

Take Medication

If you’re experiencing a pinched nerve, it can be incredibly painful. Your doctor may recommend that you take over-the-counter medications to reduce the swelling and pain of a pinched nerve, but first, they’ll want to check your medical history to see if it’s safe for you to take any medications.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) specifically work in reducing the swelling and pain of a minor pinched nerve. Before taking any medications, always ask for a physician’s medical advice.

Consult a Chiropractor

If you’ve ever had a pinched nerve in your neck, you know how bad the neck pain can be. But, did you know that some exercises and stretches can help soothe and strengthen the muscles in your neck and treat the pinched nerve in your shoulder blade? These exercises (McKenzie exercises) target the muscles in the neck area to relieve pain in the neck and shoulder blade.

Contact Sunrise Chiropractic to Help Relieve Your Pinched Nerve in Neck and Shoulder Today

We hope this blog post on how to fix a pinched nerve in the shoulder and neck areas has helped give you some useful insight.

A chiropractor has a vital role in helping people manage the pain and discomfort caused by pinched nerves. Employing hands-on therapy and adjustments, a chiropractor can help you get lasting pinched nerve shoulder blade pain relief.

Sunrise Chiropractic in Citrus Heights, CA, offers a wide range of treatment options for restoring optimum health and helping people deal with the effects of pinched nerves.

If you’re stuck with how to release a pinched nerve in your shoulder and neck areas, call us at (916) 727-6400 or contact us to schedule your appointment today.

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