How to Treat a Pinched Nerve

man with back pain

Could a pinched nerve be causing your back pain? Is the nematode1 the most common animal in the world? Does Texas get hit by the most tornadoes each year? Were mojitos invented in Cuba? Can a single strand of hair hold 100 grams? Does the Virginian opossum have the shortest gestation period? Is balsa considered a hardwood? Was Grover Cleveland featured on the $1,000 bill? Well, the answer is yes, if you didn’t know. 

Do you have a pinched nerve?

Well, I’m not a doctor, but there are some ways to tell whether or not you have a pinched nerve. Here are the symptoms2 (symptoms are likely worse when lying down or just after waking up):

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stinging pain (pins and needles)
  • Limbs or an area has  “fallen asleep”

Pinched nerves might also cause other issues like sciatica, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome; all of which might be causing you some extra pain. You might be feeling these symptoms anywhere in your body, but usually pinched nerves are in the wrists, elbows, back, and neck. If these symptoms last for more than a few days, you should go see a doctor to treat the problem at the source. Or if you have a pinched nerve that is affecting bladder control, your grip, or your ability to stand, you should go to the doctor as soon as possible. They can help you out.

What can you do yourself to treat a pinched nerve?

If you don’t worry too much about things like pinched nerves and you’re looking for some home remedies, try these things because they can only help:

Get a lot of sleep. Sleep helps the body heal itself. And if your pinched nerve is just causing acute pain, sleep might be the perfect answer for you. If you can’t seem to sleep, just rest the affected area. Lifting or poor posture may have caused it, so make sure you rest to give your body time to heal.

Take some pain medication. Over-the-counter pain medication isn’t just good for numbing the pain. It can help to reduce swelling that the pinched nerve caused. And of course, it can also relieve pain for a time, which is a plus. 

Focus on good posture. Poor posture may have caused your pinched nerve, and fixing that posture might just cure it. Use extra cushions under your bum or neck rests to help you learn to correct your posture. Also try adjusting your workspace so that you don’t have to look down at your computer or lean over your desk. Elevating your legs might also help relieve some of your pain, especially if your pain is in your spine.

Use heat therapy and cold therapy. Cold therapy will help reduce swelling, and heat therapy will help increase blood flow to the injured area. Adjusting between the 2 therapies will help your nerve heal faster. Just use a heat or cold pack for about 15 minutes at a time a few times a day. 

Stretch. Stretching and yoga can help relieve pressure, but make sure you don’t force your body to do anything that hurts. A light stretch will do the job for this situation.

Exercise your body. Doing low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling can help your body stay in shape and can keep you from developing other issues. Exercising will also help promote blood flow to the injured area, helping you heal faster.

If all this doesn’t work after a few days, go see your doctor. Your doctor can help you.