If the nerve root is inflamed or injured, you will likely have a compressed or pinched nerve. A root is a nerve that branches off your spinal cord to other parts of the body. This means you can have a pinched nerve at any part of the spine, whether thoracic, lumbar or neck regions. If it happens on the neck, you will likely experience pain in the arms, a tingling feeling, numbness and weakness around your shoulder.
A pinched nerve is caused by an irritation of the nerve as it leaves the spinal column. It can be caused by narrowing due to arthritis, disc issues or other space-occupying material. If a soft disc between your spine’s vertebrae degenerates or bulges, it can compress nearby nerves. You may have a herniated disc from a sudden twist, bending or sudden lifting
Severe cases of pinched nerve require medical attention. However, you can relieve mild pain using the exercises below. Most important though, if the exercise increases your symptoms, do not keep doing the exercise and seek help.
There are muscles at the back of the neck are called trapezius muscles. If these muscles are too tight, they can make your symptoms related to your nerves and the spine worse. You can loosen the muscles with a neck exercise.
1. Place the right hand under your thigh.
2. Use the left hand to bend the head on the left side, gently.
3. Pause for about half a minute
4. Bend the head to the right
5. Repeat twice on both sides
Tuck the Chin
This exercise is also called the neck lengthening exercise. It helps reduce tension on the neck and improves posture. This is a core exercise for your neck.
1. Use any hand to place the fingers on the chin
2. Push the chin towards the neck, slowly and gently until you have a double chin
3. Hold the chin in that position for about five seconds
4. Relax and repeat the process at least thrice
Once you become comfortable, move your chin without using your fingers
A Head Turn
A head turn helps increase the neck’s range of motion that is decreased by a pinched nerve. However, you should perform the exercise slowly as it might be painful when you have a pinched nerve. You can start with smaller movements and increase the range as you become comfortable. Doing the exercise initially lying down with your head on a pillow if often a great way to start.
1. Straighten your head by looking ahead
2. Turn the head to your right and pause in the position for about 10 seconds
3. Then the head to the left and again pause for 10 seconds
4. When comfortable, tilt the head side to side
A Neck Bend
1. Make the chin touch your chest
2. Pause at the position
3. Return to the starting position
4. Repeat the exercise at least five times
We recommend that you give us a call prior to starting any of these exercises so we can carry out an initial assessment and prescribe you with the specific exercises relevant for you and your level of pain. Call us on (02) 9144 1510 to book in your initial appointment.