Physical Therapy for a Pinched Nerve

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Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve not only affects your movement but can also reduce the quality of your life. Although a pinched nerve is common, especially in athletes and in people above the age of 50, more severe nerve pain should be addressed by a specialist. Pinched nerves occur when a nerve is squeezed, causing pain, weakness, numbness, and other symptoms.

Studies show that around 85 of 100,000 adults experience a pinched nerve yearly. Pinched nerves can occur anywhere throughout your body, including:

  • Thoracic and lumbar nerves of the back and upper chest
  • The cervical nerves of the neck and shoulder
  • Hip
  • Wrist and hand
  • Arm and elbow
A woman suffering from pinched nerve

While most pinched nerves tend to go away on their own within four to six weeks, seeking specialized treatment is essential if your condition fails to improve. A pinched nerve can become more severe if left untreated, resulting in chronic pain and permanent nerve damage.

Fortunately, our team of providers is ready to work with you to diagnose your condition and provide the most effective treatment. Here at La Clínica, your health and well-being are our only priorities. We understand that a pinched nerve is a debilitating condition that can adversely impact your daily life. That’s why our team of specialists strives to provide the highest quality care to help you overcome a pinched nerve in the shortest possible time.

Providing Personalized Treatment for Pinched Nerves

A pinched nerve typically occurs when a nerve is squeezed or compressed, resulting in weakness, tingling, numbness, and pain. The common causes of a pinched nerve are injuries such as a dislocation or a fracture. Inflammation caused by arthritis or bursitis can also place too much pressure on a nerve, which can compress it and cause pain. 

In addition, prolonged use of particular body parts, especially the hips, elbows, shoulders, neck, and arms, can cause a nerve to be compressed. A herniated disc can also exert pressure on the nerve and cause it to be squeezed. Other common causes of a pinched nerve include obesity, poor posture, tumors, or other growths.

Symptoms of a pinched nerve vary based on the amount of pressure that usually include:

  • Feeling as though a particular body part has fallen asleep
  • Tingling sensations
  • Dull or sharp pain in the affected area
  • Numbness in the affected area
  • Pain that often radiates outwards
  • Muscle weakness in the affected areas
  • Pain that worsens with specific positions or during sleep

When you visit one of our clinics seeking physical therapy for a pinched nerve, our team of specialists will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose the cause of your problem. This often includes checking your medical history and asking you a few questions. We might ask you how the symptoms started and how they affect your daily life. 

In addition, we will ask you if any movement worsens your symptoms. From there, we will perform various tests to evaluate muscle weakness, changes in reflexes, activities that improve or worsen symptoms, and loss of sensation. Further advanced tests, such as MRI or a CT scan, might be required to check for soft tissue interference and bone spurs.

Managing a pinched nerve at home can help reduce the pain and discomfort. So, try the following self-care methods to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with a pinched nerve:

 ✅ Try to rest the affected area to reduce the pressure on the compressed nerve

 ✅ Apply ice on the affected area for around 20 minutes at a time to reduce the inflammation and alleviate pain

 ✅ Apply heat on the swollen area to relax the muscles

 ✅ Do gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to relax the muscles and enhance flexibility

 ✅ Take over-the-counter pain medications to manage the pain

 ✅ Maintain a good posture to relieve pressure on the compressed nerve.

However, these self-care methods only provide temporary relief. Above all, you should consult a licensed provider before using these methods. If your symptoms fail to improve, reach out to a certified healthcare professional as soon as possible. We will diagnose your condition to identify the underlying cause of your pinched nerve and develop a personalized treatment plan.

After your initial in-depth evaluation, our specialists will develop an individualized treatment plan that focuses on your unique needs and symptoms and prevents re-injury. Your treatment can include the following:

  • Active Release Technique or Manual Therapy to loosen the muscles and aid in pain relief
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Rest and icing
  • Posture education
  • Functional exercises
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Massage

Pinched Nerves Statistics

  • In the United States, 85 out of 100,000 adults get a pinched nerve every year
  • Pinched nerves are more common among people aged 50 and older and those with diabetes or obesity
  • On average, pinched nerves last anywhere from a few days to six weeks or even longer
  • The most common pinched nerves occur in the neck, lower back, and upper middle back

Frequently Asked Questions

A pinched or compressed nerve occurs when too much pressure is placed on a nerve, resulting in pain, tingling, weakness, and numbness.

Less severe cases of pinched nerves tend to heal on their own with adequate rest, over-the-counter pain medication, and self-care. However, it’s highly recommended to get the advice of a professional healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your pinched nerve and create an effective treatment plan.

Fortunately, you can prevent a pinched nerve by maintaining a healthy weight and taking regular breaks after sitting or exercising. It’s also essential to warm up before exercises and cool down after workouts. Also, avoid repetitive movements that increase the risk of experiencing a pinched nerve. In addition, maintain a good posture to reduce the pressure on your nerves.

Sometimes a pinched nerve can cause irreversible damage when left untreated. As a result, seeking professional treatment as soon as possible is essential to prevent permanent nerve damage.

The time it takes for your pinched nerve to heal will depend on various factors, such as the underlying cause and the severity. Mild cases take a few days to a few weeks to heal, whereas more severe cases take several months to heal with proper treatment.

Get the Highest Quality Physical Therapy for a Pinched Nerve With La Clínica

If you are experiencing a pinched nerve, seek professional physical therapy treatment in Chicago as soon as possible. Call us at (773) 763-2800 or fill out this online form to schedule your appointment today.

Do you have further questions? Call (773) 763-2800 or use the form on this page to book your appointment today.

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