A trapped nerve in the shoulder means to put a pressure on a nerve surrounding tissue (usually hardened muscles), resulting in pain and possibly impaired function. Mostly there is sudden, burning or stinging pain in the area of the shoulder. These are usually only one-sided and can radiate forward to the sternum.
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Your shoulder will also feel weak and numb and these sensations will be felt at your neck or spine. Aside from the shoulder, trapped (pinched) nerves may also occur in the arms, hips, neck and lower back.
When you do strenuous activities, you may acquire a pinched nerve in shoulder. Such activities are jogging, running, weight-lifting and swimming. If you continuously have a poor posture, you may also suffer from a pinched nerve in shoulder. This is because the tissues push and compress the nerves. People who are overweight may also suffer this because of having too many tissues around the shoulder nerves. The condition can also be because of a more serious problem such as a herniated spinal disc.
To treat the trapped nerve in shoulder, you should take a rest and refrain from doing strenuous activities such as exercises and sports. Do not lift heavy things while you are at home. Pinched nerves usually heal on their own in a span of one week if the condition is not serious.
Avoid Bad Posture
When you sleep, lie on your back. If this is not possible, put a pillow under your tummy just so your back will be straight.
There are also medications for trapped nerve in shoulder. These are ibuprofen and naproxen. They lessen pain and swelling. If the condition is too unbearable, there are other stronger pain relievers that you can take.
Applying Ice Pack
You can rub an ice pack over the affected area for 20 minutes. Do this three or four times a day. This will relieve swelling and pain and promote good blood circulation.
You can also get a good massage and tell your therapist to concentrate on your shoulders and back. This will relieve the tension in your muscles that may be the cause of the pinched nerve.
You can also see a physical therapist that will help you perform very light exercises and stretches to lessen constant pressure on the nerves.
There are also herbal remedies for trapped nerve in your shoulder. These are effective and have no side effects. They also aid the body in its natural healing capability. Two of these herbs are devil’s claw and budock. They contain anti-inflammatory properties that will lessen the swelling of pinched nerves. German chamomile and toothache tree are herbs that also have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic elements to decrease pain and swelling.
If the pain becomes unbearable and does not go away even after medication, rest and exercise, you may need stronger medicines, more physical therapy, traction or surgery. Traction is the procedure of slowly pulling apart the spinal column to relieve the pain immediately. This can be done using a machine. A doctor can manually do this also using a specially-designed table. Surgery involves removing a herniated disc which causes bone spurs to apply pressure on the nerves.
It is necessary to take this condition seriously so that further damage will not be done to your body. If you feel a numbness or pain below your neck, you may already be suffering from a pinched nerve in shoulder.