How to Relieve Pain From a Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve is caused by compression of a nerve or set of nerves. It can occur due to sleeping in the wrong position for a long period of time or may be the result of repetitive motions. Regardless of the reason for onset, it’s often at least mildly painful and can be debilitating depending on severity.
If you’re in so much pain that you can’t move, you probably need to see your doctor. Treatment usually relieves pain and other symptoms, but in some cases, pinched nerve damage cannot be reversed.
A pinched nerve is something you may never have to deal with. But if you do, you’ll want to know how to get rid of the pain fast.
Whether you pinched your nerve gardening, working or sleeping, we’re here to discuss ways that you can alleviate the mild pain you may be experiencing because of it. Keep reading to learn more.
Soothing a Pinched Nerve
Symptoms of a pinched nerve may include numbness or tingling, burning and the sensation of pins and needles. This can occur in various places throughout your body like the neck and back, elbows, legs, wrists, and fingers.
If you think you’re experiencing a pinched nerve, try some of these home remedies to alleviate symptoms:
Rest is imperative to healing a pinched nerve and is often the first thing doctors recommend.
It’s important to limit your activities even if you don’t feel tired. Avoid texting as this causes you to push your head forward which extends the muscles and nerves in your back and neck.
Try sleeping on your side or back and elevate your legs, especially for a pinched nerve in the lower back. You might also try using a neck brace to limit your movement.
While getting a massage is easier said than done, you can also perform mini massages on yourself.
If you can afford the time, energy and cost of a professional massage, by all means, it will help immensely. Massage therapists are trained and specialize in nerve pain reduction practices. They can also give you advice on which types of stretches will be best for your particular situation.
If you’d rather stay at home, give yourself a light massage surrounding the area where the pain is most intense. Apply moderate pressure and push and rub on the muscles to reduce inflammation and pressure.
Light stretches can help relieve the pressure on your nerves and help to improve symptoms of pain.
It’s important to focus on light stretching, and don’t overdo it. Even a little pain or discomfort should cause you to ease up on your stretch.
Try laying down on the bed or the floor and extending your legs and arms and neck out carefully. Look for yoga poses that focus on nerve pain.
One of the main causes of nerve pain is due to bad posture. Even slight changes in your posture can make a difference in your pain levels.
Sit up straight and don’t lean forward. Make sure to keep your head in line with your spine. If you must remain seated, keep your hips at a ninety-degree angle and feet on the floor.
You also don’t want to be sitting in any type of twisted position: face forward, hips forward, feet forward.
Heat and Ice
Heat is best when you first begin experiencing pain. Apply heat to the affected area within 24 hours. This will help relax the muscles that might be tight around the nerve.
Heat also helps improve blood circulation to the affected nerve and helps the healing process.
After 24 hours and for quick relief, you can apply ice for 10-15 minutes at a time at one-hour intervals. Ice or a cold compress works as a numbing agent to the affected area and reduces swelling and inflammation.
OTC Pain Relievers
If you lack time for necessary rest or you’re waiting to see a doctor, you can also try over the counter pain relievers.
Make sure to use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include Ibuprofen and Aspirin. Follow the instructions carefully and call your doctor immediately if symptoms worsen or side effects occur. It might also be wise to ask your doctor if these medications are okay first as they may interact with other medications that you currently take.
If you’d rather try to stick with more holistic remedies, you can try a castor oil pack. You can make your own with castor oil from any home health store and a small piece of wool flannel fabric.
Fold the flannel into quarters and saturate it with castor oil before placing it on the affected area. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and a thin towel to absorb excess oil and then put a heating pad on top. Wear this pack and rest for about an hour and repeat every 3-4 hours as necessary until your pain subsides.
Turmeric can help relieve the pain from inflammation surrounding your nerves. It’s also used and as an herbal pain reliever.
You can boil one teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk or almond milk. Add some cinnamon and sweeten with honey. Drink it once or twice a day until symptoms subside.
Epsom salt works as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps relax tight muscles which may be affecting your nerves. It’s also full of magnesium which is incredible for nerve pain and critical in helping the body heal.
Take a 15-20 minute Epsom salt bath to help the magnesium absorb into your body quickly. You can use one cup of Epsom salt and warm water. Warmer water will also help relieve the tension in your muscles.
The best thing you can do for a pinched nerve is to get plenty of rest. Your body needs time to replenish itself no matter which forms of therapy you use. Try resting in a position that feels comfortable and staying there for at least an hour at a time.
Rest assured, most cases of pinched nerves go away on their own. But you can contact your doctor if you’re experiencing extreme pain or losing sleep. Your doctor can recommend medication for nerve pain and suggest other measures that will help you feel better.
If you still have questions or you’d like to schedule a consultation, we’re here for you!