Treatment for a Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is put on a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bone, cartilage, muscle, or tendon. This pressure can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness. 

If you suffer from a stabbing or shooting pain, numbness or weakness in your arms, book an appointment with a physiotherapist at The Back Clinic.

A symptoms of a pinched nerve 

Signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve include: 

  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
  • Sharp, aching or burning pain that may radiate outward
  • Tingling, prickling and pins and needles (paresthesia)
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep” 

The problems associated with a pinched nerve may be worse when you are sleeping 

Causes of a pinched nerve 

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure (compression) is exerted on a nerve by surrounding tissue. In some cases, this tissue is bone or cartilage, such as a herniated disk pressing on a nerve root. In other cases, muscles or tendons may be the cause. 

A number of conditions may cause tissue to compress a nerve(s), including: 

  • Injury
  • Rheumatoid or wrist arthritis
  • Stress from repetitive work
  • Hobbies or sports activities
  • Obesity 

If a nerve is pinched for only a short time, there is usually no permanent damage. Once the pressure is relieved, the function of the nerve returns to normal. However, if the pressure continues, chronic pain and permanent nerve damage can occur. 

Treatment for a pinched nerve 

The most commonly recommended treatment for a pinched nerve is rest for the affected area. Depending on where the pinched nerve is located, you may need a splint, collar or brace to immobilize the area.  

Treatment includes: 

  • Physiotherapy – A physiotherapist treats a pinched nerve with targeted exercises, manual therapy, and stretching to reduce pressure, alleviate pain, and improve mobility. They may also use heat, ice, and electrical stimulation techniques. Book appointment.
  • Medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help relieve pain. Anticonvulsants are commonly used to treat nerve-related pain. Corticosteroids, given by mouth or by injection, may help minimize pain and inflammation. Meet with a doctor before taking medication.
  • Surgery – If the pinched nerve does not improve after several weeks to months of conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery to take pressure off the nerve. The type of surgery depends on the location of the pinched nerve.


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Some of the Medical Aids that cover treatment.

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