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TOPIC: Remedies for a pinched nerve in the neck/shoulder?

 
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September 7, 2012 12:07 PM
I currently look a bit like a robot; limited movement in my head and left shoulder. The pain is not so bad when I am warmed up, but I know that I'll be REALLY stiff for a few days yet. Sleeping is the worst with intense pain when trying to lift my head. to roll over. Any ideas other than "deep heat" etc?
September 7, 2012 12:18 PM
I have long-term pinched nerves from c2-t8. The only thing that has helped is seeing a chiropracter. With regular visits to him, I don't get flare-ups.
  17135242
September 7, 2012 12:19 PM
You really need to have it looked at....but having said that look up neck exercises for thoracic outlet syndrome. It is stretching exercises. You have to do them to both sides of your neck. Use some heat to losen the muscle, then GENTLE stretching. One that I can think of is try to touch your ear to your shoulder then roll your head down to your chest like you are trying to look in your chest pocket ( if you had a shirt on with a chest pocket)
Hope that helps
September 7, 2012 5:22 PM
Thanks ladies!
September 7, 2012 5:26 PM
I had a recent bout with this that took a month to heal... PT, pain meds, muscle relaxers, chiroproactor, massage etc... everything helped -a little-.

The one thing that I will advise is be very careful with heat... it is not your friend most of the time. Even though it feels better when you apply it, it can cause things to swell even more than they were before and make the problem worse once cooled down.

If you apply heat a little before stretching it can help, but ice when you're done!
  11391055
September 7, 2012 5:29 PM
Mine was so bad I couldn't turn my head at all. I had to go to a chiropractor to fix mine. He was a blessing and I see him once a month now. Find a good one that just doesn't twist you like a pretzel. Mine takes his time and is awesome!
  4107208
September 7, 2012 5:35 PM
The same happened to me. I have always had a pinched nerve that flares up from time to time. However one day it just locked up! I could not move my head in any direction. Luckily it happened at work and I work beside a chiropractor. She was able to get my head moving again. I hope you feel better soon, I know how painful it is.
September 7, 2012 5:37 PM
QUOTE:

I had a recent bout with this that took a month to heal... PT, pain meds, muscle relaxers, chiroproactor, massage etc... everything helped -a little-.

The one thing that I will advise is be very careful with heat... it is not your friend most of the time. Even though it feels better when you apply it, it can cause things to swell even more than they were before and make the problem worse once cooled down.

If you apply heat a little before stretching it can help, but ice when you're done!


Agree...try a cold pack and see if that will shrink it so you can comfortably do some stretches. Also some muscle relaxers might help.
  213875
September 7, 2012 5:39 PM
After I lost my health benefits and couldn't see the chiropractor anymore, I met a physical therapist who changed my life. I was diagnosed with chronic severe back pain and arthritis from a car accident when I was 29. The nerve damage was so bad that at one point in 2008 I went through a 3-week period where I could not lie down for more than an hour at a time without waking up to my arms feeling like they were on fire.

I rarely have to take Flexeril now...it takes me 2 yrs to go through a bottle of 30. All b/c I found a physical therapist who knew what he was doing, he gave me home exercises since I was losing my insurance and from there I started light strength training. Now I'm rowing 25lbs each arm and increasing that when I get new weights. And no chiropractor needed!
  19385868
September 7, 2012 5:40 PM
I read this and smiled, I am in the process of working through this... I pinched a nerve at C5-C6 and left my right arm completely numb and severe pain through my right shoulder and down my arm. I tried decompression therapy,deep tissue massage, but ultimately ended up in Physical Therapy. I was put on a steroid pack (triple dose for 4 days, double dose for 4 days, and on and on til weened off) after 6 weeks of PT and the steroids I was good to go... or so I thought. They started me back on full weight lifting and I was feeling really good and was doing tricep pushdowns and as I pushed down the stack and looked left at the mirror I pinched it again. Not as severe but had to restart PT and another round of steroids.. I am 4 weeks into round 2 and feeling better all the time. I have feeling back everywhere but the tip of my thumb and my strength is back to about 70%. My doctor said I just need to take my time with it cause these pinched nerves only regenerate at like 1 mm a week and even though you think it is healed they can take 6 to 9 months to completely heal and that is with no set backs... The sleeping part was the worst, I ended up in the recliner for a couple months but still was up and down, some night only getting a couple hours sleep.... Just my experience.... Best of Luck
  12269569
September 7, 2012 5:49 PM
You need to see a massage therapist or physical therapist.

Please be careful of asking for advice like this over the internet. Some of the things that have been advised could harm you, and the person telling you to avoid heat- that's just inaccurate. You can use heat, it will help relax the muscle and increase blood flow, however you should also use some ice to calm inflammation.

It sounds to me like you may have an entrapment. Only a PT or an MT can tell you where, as pain refers and the area that hurts is not always the area that is injured- and often one or more muscles / nerves could be injured. You could have something as simple as trigger points in your traps and rhomboids, you could have pulled your subscapularis, injured the infra and supra spinatus tendons, etc. I am sure that you probably have some tightness in the fascia in the occipital region as well as shortening of the muscles in the pecs. My point is a whole host of things could be causing your issue although most of my clients who present this way have bad posture and old injury.

Since you mention that this is a recurring thing- I would assume venture to guess that you have either arthritis, a possible disc issue, past injury, or more likely bad posture and maybe bad form when exercising- see an MT and or a PT and make sure your biomechanics are being done correctly, get treatment, rehabilitate and prevent re-injury.
September 8, 2012 3:40 PM
I agree you should see a doctor if you want a proper diagnosis. Just food for thought when considering heat as was suggested above.. I know for sure I lengthened my neck/back recovery by using heat to try to lessen the pain. If your 100% comfortable with using heat as part of your treatment, then go for it.

It was my chiropractor that took me off of using heat and that made an immediate difference in my recovery. My PT person would use heat only long enough to loosen things up, go through PT and then immediately ice. That was the only heat we used and she agreed with the Chiropractors comments about avoiding it for general comfort / pain management.

From http://www.blueridgefamilychiropractic.net/page/backpainfaq

Q. I’ve recently hurt my back/neck and can’t get to the chiropractor immediately; should I put ice or heat on it?

Ice. Never put heat on your spine. Without having your condition diagnosed by a doctor, you don’t know if you’ve injured/herniated a disc or have a pinched nerve or not so you should treat it like you do. When a disc herniates/bulges, it’s like having a ‘sprained’ joint. When you sprain your ankle, ligaments are stretched or torn and the joint swells with fluid to protect it from further injury. Adding heat to the joint causes more fluid/swelling build-up and may make your condition worse. While adding heat to your spine may calm down muscle spasms and make your back feel a bit ‘looser’, it will ultimately make the swelling of the disc worse. Heat will make a disc problem worse.

When you’ve hurt your back (or any joint) the best thing to do is immediately put ice on it. The sooner you can put ice on it the better. Ice will counteract/help reduce any swelling that may be building inside or around the joint. If you’ve hurt your back, start icing the injured area for 30 minutes on and take if off for about an hour. Continue to cycle this (on and off) for as long as you can, then get to the chiropractor as soon as possible.

http://www.blueridgefamilychiropractic.net/page/backpainfaq
  11391055
September 8, 2012 3:50 PM
I'm still healing through mine as well. PT exercises, passive traction help from my son, heat. The only major time I have pain or discomfort is sleeping/waking up. I'm working out, but still cannot do Chest Flies or Rotary Flies. the nerve just shuts down.
  27332236
September 9, 2012 6:29 AM
QUOTE:

You need to see a massage therapist or physical therapist.

Please be careful of asking for advice like this over the internet. Some of the things that have been advised could harm you, and the person telling you to avoid heat- that's just inaccurate. You can use heat, it will help relax the muscle and increase blood flow, however you should also use some ice to calm inflammation.

It sounds to me like you may have an entrapment. Only a PT or an MT can tell you where, as pain refers and the area that hurts is not always the area that is injured- and often one or more muscles / nerves could be injured. You could have something as simple as trigger points in your traps and rhomboids, you could have pulled your subscapularis, injured the infra and supra spinatus tendons, etc. I am sure that you probably have some tightness in the fascia in the occipital region as well as shortening of the muscles in the pecs. My point is a whole host of things could be causing your issue although most of my clients who present this way have bad posture and old injury.

Since you mention that this is a recurring thing- I would assume venture to guess that you have either arthritis, a possible disc issue, past injury, or more likely bad posture and maybe bad form when exercising- see an MT and or a PT and make sure your biomechanics are being done correctly, get treatment, rehabilitate and prevent re-injury.
September 9, 2012 6:30 AM
I think that you are right about bad biomechanics and posture. I've been told that I run with one shoulder lower than the other. I also think that my left leg is slightly longer than the right. It's definitely something I need to look into getting sorted. Thanks for everyone's advice!

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