Physiotherapy for a Trapped Nerve
Have you ever woken up in the morning and found that you cannot move your head without experiencing terrible pain which starts from your neck and works its way out into your shoulders? This circumstance is most likely brought about as the result of a pinched or trapped nerve. This can be one of the most painful situations to be in, and which is not the result of a physical injury.
Once you identify the cause of the trapped nerve in your neck,gentle and purposeful exercise provided by your physiotherapist will help stretch the muscles and release the pressure from the involved nerves.
A number of conditions may cause tissue to compress a nerve or nerves, including:
- Poor posture
- Rheumatoid or wrist arthritis
- Stress from repetitive work
- Hobbies or sports activities
If a nerve is pinched for only a short time, there’s usually no permanent damage. However, if the pressure continues, chronic pain and permanent nerve damage can occur.
With nerve compression, pain may be the only main symptom the individual may care to get rid off. These are some of the more common symptoms of compressed nerves:
- Pain in the area of compression, such as the neck or low back
- Radiating pain, such as sciatica or radicular pain
- Numbness or tingling
- “Pins and needles” or a burning sensation
- Weakness, especially with certain activities
Sometimes symptoms worsen when you try certain movements, such as turning your head or straining your neck or when you sleep.
First and foremost, your doctor will conduct a physical examination. If he suspects a trapped nerve, he may ask you to do the following tests:
- Nerve conduction study. This test measures electrical nerve impulses and functioning in your muscles and nerves.
- Electromyography. The test evaluates the electrical activity of your muscles when they contract and when they’re at rest.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This test uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed views of your body in multiple planes.
Duration of recovery depends from person to person. Treatment varies, depending on the severity and cause of the nerve compression. If the condition is not too serious, with adequate rest you will become better. However, if the condition is too serious, any of the follow forms of treatment may be prescribed to you.
Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will help relieve pain and alleviate inflammation around the nerve.
Physical therapy: A physical therapist will teach you exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles around the affected area to relieve pressure on the nerve.
Surgery: This is the last resort and will be recommended if your condition has not improvement for several weeks. The type of surgery varies depending on the location of the trapped nerve.
If you have been diagnosed with a trapped nerve, contact our team of expert physiotherapists to get relief from your trapped nerve pain.