A pinched nerve is the result of having too much pressure applied to the nerve from bones, discs, cartilage, muscles, or tendons. This can disrupt the function of the nerve, leading to a variety of uncomfortable sensations, such as tingling or pain.
Pinched nerves can occur in multiple areas of the body. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be the result of a pinched nerve in the wrist, while a herniated disc can cause a pinched nerve in the neck.
Pinched nerve symptoms can vary depending on the amount of pressure, but typically include:
These sensations may also worsen during sleep, or increase with certain positions, such as turning your neck.
When seeking physical therapy for a pinched nerve, your therapist will perform an in-depth evaluation. This will include taking a medical history with information regarding when the symptoms started, what areas are affected and how, and if anything makes the symptoms worse. Tests will then be performed to check for:
If more testing is needed, you may be referred to a doctor. In this case, an MRI may be performed to see if you have soft tissue interference, such as a herniated or bulging disc, or a CT scan may be done to check for bone spurs.
Are you wondering, “What to do for a pinched nerve in the neck?” Some people can recover from a pinched nerve with a few days of rest and NSAIDs. However, some people will need to seek physical therapy treatment for a pinched nerve, or possibly steroid shots or surgery.
After your initial evaluation and diagnosis, your physical therapist will work to create a treatment plan focused on relieving the symptoms of your pinched nerve, as well as preventing the issue from reoccurring. This treatment can include:
If you need professional guidance on what to do for a pinched nerve in the neck, the physical therapists at IMPACT Physical Therapy are here to help. Request an appointment online at one of our multiple locations today!