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Physical Therapy for Pinched Nerve in Neck

Rohini Mohan
A nerve pull in the neck can be excruciating and debilitating, if not alleviated through painkillers. Albeit effective, medications do not help subside the soreness that spreads all over the shoulders, back, and neck, which is why warm oil massages and physical therapy help reduce the discomfort.
In case you have been suffering from pinched neck for a few days or it has been a recurring phenomenon, then you will firstly need to get some tests done through your doctor.
If you do get diagnosed with the pinched neck syndrome, then you will need to understand a bit about the health condition.

What is a Pinched Neck?

Your vertebra has nerves running through it which extend on to the arms and legs. The nerve that has been pinched passes through the foramen which is an opening at either ends of your vertebra in the neck.
A pinched nerve interferes with the saltatory conduction of the nerves, which is how the brain and sensory signals get transferred throughout the body. When this happens, the nerve gets exposed or torn, which breaks the conduction, which is when the pinched neck symptoms begin to start.
When the connection snaps it causes pain, pin like pricking, numbness, and weakness. Because of the pinch; fluid tends to gather around the damaged area, further increasing discomfort and pain. This pain is very disabling, making even simple neck movements excruciating.
Fortunately, nerve roots and nerves can also heal themselves. They can heal at a rate of 1 inch per month, though, in order for them to heal at this rate you will have to take some mandatory measures.
You will need to keep yourself extremely well hydrated, you will need to take vitamin supplements, and provide extra nourishment to yourself.

Various Methods of Physical Therapy


An alternative branch of medicine, chiropractic helps in aligning the spine and the nervous system. This treatment involves the manipulation of the spine, soft tissues, and joints of the human body.
Therefore, they will be able to specifically focus on the pinched nerve on the neck and see if they can help ease the pain. The relocation of the nerve; back into its socket will increase its chances of healing faster. If you find this method too tricky or look at the profession with suspicion; then you may try other alternative methods of therapy.

Physical Therapists

They will show you a few stretching as well as some basic neck exercises that will help ease the pain. You may need to combine the therapy with some painkiller medications as well. Begin these exercises at a very slow pace and do not exert yourself too much.
If you feel you cannot continue or there is no evident improvement in your condition, then you should discontinue the therapy. Though, these exercises take their time to yield results, and thus waiting for a reasonable time period may prove to be a wise decision.
Try heat therapy by applying warm compression on your neck, on the affected area. Do not try cold compressors, as the nerves tend to stiffen even more when treated with colder bandages.

Oil Massage

A warm oil massage really works wonders in healing pinched nerves as well as sprains, and tissue tears. Do your research so as to find out about the most natural, therapeutic, and holistic ways of massage.
Warm oil massages help relax the jammed nerves, while the heat and the medicinal properties of the oil's ingredients help provide nourishment to the affected area.


Many people who have suffered pinched neck claim that acupuncture was the only thing that helped heal them. If you decide to go ahead with this treatment, make sure you opt for a recommended professional. Speak to a few people who have tried and tested this field of treatment, before you decide to go through with it.


Consult a professional yoga expert for specific neck and back exercises that will help heal your neck and aren't too tedious to practice at home. As all yoga exercises require control over breathing, ensure that you take deep breaths and exhale after each step of the exercise.


While some may call this branch of medicine mere placebo, the fact is that homeopathy has existed for over 200 years. Homeopathy is excellent for curing small ailments, such as cold, fever, all types of body ache, stomach upset, and ulcers.
Only a professional therapist would be able to clearly dictate or demonstrate the proper exercises for treating this condition. Until then you must try to give your neck and back as much rest as possible.