What’s A Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve can be a real pain the neck. Pinched or compressed nerves happen when a nerve becomes inflamed or damaged. People can get a pinched nerve anywhere, but pinched nerves are particularly common in the neck or upper back. For many people, pinched nerves arise from a herniated or slipped disc. Pinched nerves don’t just cause neck pain. The condition can lead to arm tingling and numbness. To get rid of that nerve pain, try these 5 simple stretches.
1. Shoulder rolls
Stand or sit with the spine straight. While inhaling, roll the shoulders up toward the ears. On the exhale, drop the shoulders down the back. Keep the chest tall and open. Repeat for 5-10 times going forwards and backwards.
2. Side bends
Stretching from side to side can help release compression. Stand upright and lift the arms overhead. Gently clasp the fingers together if possible. On an exhale, slowly lean toward the right, feeling a stretch down the left side of the body. Repeat on the other side. Stretch to both the right and left sides 10 times.
3. Cat-cow stretches
Kneel on a yoga mat, carpet, or other padded surface. Place the hands on the floor, palms facedown and lining up the wrists directly under the shoulders. While inhaling, look toward the ceiling and drop the belly toward the floor. Draw the shoulder blades closer together. On the exhale, round the spine, draw the chin to the chest, and suck the belly in. Repeat 5-10 times.
4. Chin tuck and extensions
Sit upright with the feet firmly planted on the floor and the spine straight. Gently draw the chin toward the chest. Roll the shoulders down and lift the chest tall. Keeping the chest tall, slowly extend the chin toward the ceiling. Continue moving up and down 5-10 times.
5. Child’s pose
This yoga move helps to release tension in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips. Kneel on all fours on the ground. Separate the knees wide and bring the toes together to touch. Extend the hips back and bring the forehead toward the floor at the same time. Keep the hands planted on the floor, with arms extended in front of the body. Try to bring the belly in to meet the thighs. Eventually, try to sit the hips on the ankles. If needed, beginners can use a pillow behind the knees or underneath the forehead.
What else can I do for a pinched nerve?
Pinched nerves can interfere with daily life. But pain relief is possible with the right treatment. In addition to stretching, try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hot and cold therapy, and rest. If at-home stretches and treatments don’t help, see a healthcare provider for additional treatment options.