Home Remedies for a Pinched Nerve

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home remedies for pinches nerves

The shooting pain you may feel in your shoulder, neck or other part of the body could be the result of experiencing too much pressure in one place. Nerves running all over your body can become compromised at any moment. To treat the aftermath, home remedies for a pinched nerve can come in pretty handy.

What is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve is the result of surrounding tissues applying too much pressure to a nerve. Bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons can also play a role in the condition [1]. The pressure causes a disruption in the function of the nerve. A patient may feel pain, numbness and weakness amongst other symptoms. Once pressure is relieved, the nerve will function as normal.

Pinched nerves can occur and affect an array of different sites, including the shoulder, neck and hand. For example, people with a herniated disk in the lower spine may complain about pressure on the nerve root, which causes pain to radiate down the back of the legs.

Causes and Symptoms

If the pressure of a pinched nerve is ignored, a patient will face chronic pain and possible permanent nerve damage. There are certain factors that increase your risk of suffering a pinched nerve that include:

• Obesity – Extra pounds on your frame can contribute to added pressure to nerves.

• Overuse – Jobs or hobbies that involve repetitive movements in the hand, wrist or shoulder can increase your chances of suffering a pinched nerve. Assembly line work, belonging to a sports team and excessive writing tasks are just some examples.

• Pregnancy – The weight gain and water retention that comes with pregnancy can compress nerves as nerve pathways start to swell.

• Heredity – Some people experience pinched nerves because of characteristics in their family tree.

• Medical Conditions – Medical conditions can affect your nerves – causing pressure to compress nerves. For instance, a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome can contribute to a pinched nerve in the wrist that can lead to pain and numbness in the hand and fingers. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation that attacks the nerves in your joints.

• Bone Spurs – Trauma or conditions associated with the bone (such as osteoarthritis), can cause bone spurs, which can stiffen the spine and narrow the space that nerves travel.

• Poor Posture – Pressure in the spine and nerves can increase if you do not practice good posture.

A patient may experience the following pinched nerve signs and symptoms, which may worsen in the middle of the night or while asleep:

• Numbness or decreased sensation close to affected nerve
• Sharp or burning pain that tends to radiate outward
• A sensation described as ‘pins and needles’
• Weak muscles
• Twitching in affected area
• Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has ‘fallen asleep’
• Pain that worsens with coughing, sneezing or walking







Pinched Nerve Home Remedies

A pinched nerve can resolve itself within a few days when the body has rested and other measures have been taken to ensure a speedy recovery. You may also consider the following home remedies for a pinched nerve to supplement any treatments:

a) Potato:

To treat a pinched nerve in the neck, cut a raw potato into thick slices and lay the slices over the affected area. Leave the remedy on the neck for 30 minutes. After the potato starts to dry, remove the remedy and wash the area with warm water. Some people have enjoyed faster recovery with a pinched nerve after using the remedy.

b) Massage with Hot Oils:

Use the odor and properties of hot oils to treat a pinched nerve in the shoulder. Olive oil offers great healing properties, especially to people who suffer from arthritis. Heat a ½ cup of olive oil to the point that it is hot, yet still comfortable to the touch. Have someone else pour the oil into their hands and massage the region of the pinched nerve. The heat and oil will work together to alleviate symptoms of a pinched nerve.

massage with oils

c) Avoid Unnecessary Activity:

When dealing with a pinched nerve, you should avoid participating in any unnecessary physical activity.

d) Rest Up:

Resting the region where you are experiencing a pinched nerve is an effective way to treat symptoms. It is suggested to rest a pinched nerve for the first 24 to 48 hours after you start to feel the discomfort. Staying in a flat position during this time is highly suggested. You should also sleep six to eight hours every night.

e) Take it Easy:

It is also important to take it easy with a pinched nerve – avoid lifting heavy objects, bend at the waist if you must pick something up, and postpose any overhead reaching.

f) Alternate Heat and Cold:

Pinched nerves often respond to an alternating treatment of heat and cold. Begin with a 15-minute session using a heating pad. Next, rest for 15 minutes before putting an ice pack on the affected area for 15 minutes. Do at least two of these treatment within a 2-hour time period. This approach will help loosen up tight muscles that often accompany a pinched nerve.

g) Lie on Floor:

Relieve lower back pain associated with a pinched nerve by lying on the floor. The flat surface is beneficial for this type of pain, especially if you have a bed with a soft mattress, which is not good for pinched nerves in the back. Maximize the results by pulling your knees towards your chest.

h) Rolling Motion:

A temporary remedy for a pinched nerve in the neck is to roll the neck and shoulders.

i) Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Properties:

Increase the number and amount of foods you consume that possess anti-inflammatory properties, such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, broccoli, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables. These foods help lessen inflammation associated with muscles and joints that can affect and cause a pinched nerve.

j) Olive Oil:

Massage heated up olive oil to treat a pinched nerve, which helps relax the muscles, as well as treats pain and inflammation.

k) Ice:

Apply ice to a pinched nerve region to enjoy relief from inflammation– leave on for five minutes at a time.

l) Hot Compress:

Some people prefer using a hot compress to improve circulation in the affected region of a pinched nerve. This treatment also helps reduce pain. You can make a hot compress by placing a wet washcloth in the microwave for about 10 seconds or so.

m) Honey and Cinnamon:

Offering components known to alleviate pain, honey and cinnamon can be used to treat the discomfort of a pinched nerve. Combine the two ingredients to make a paste that is then applied to affected parts of the body. Leave on for at least 10 minutes, and then wash off with water. Some people may experience slightly reddened skin when using this remedy, which is completely normal.

n) Hot Water:

To treat the pain of a pinched nerve in the shoulder, apply a hot water bottle or sit in a bathtub filled with heated water. For those of you that have access to a hot tub or Jacuzzi – start making the most of it. Try directing your pain towards the spray jets for maximum benefit.

o) Calcium:

If you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet, a pinched nerve may develop. To treat a calcium deficiency, add more calcium-rich foods to your meals, such as cheese, nuts, fish, grains, yogurt and milk as a way to promote healthy bones and joints.


p) Soy Milk:

For the lactose intolerant, consider adding soy milk to your diet as a way to get your fill of calcium. Today, it comes in tasty flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate.

q) Bulk Up on Potassium:

Some people experience a pinched nerve in the shoulder or neck because they are not getting enough potassium. Take a potassium supplement[2] or add more foods to your diet that offer potassium, such as figs, papaya, avocados, watermelon, and of course, bananas.

r) Cut Down on Acidic Foods:

Cutting down on foods with high acidic content or eating more items that neutralize acid is a good way to fight pinched nerves associated with acidic foods. Try adding foods with potassium to your breakfasts, lunches and dinners to combat nerve disruption.

s) Cold Pack:

Place a cold pack or Ziploc[3] baggie filled with ice on a painful nerve site plagued by swelling and inflammation.

t) Exercises:

In an attempt to release endorphins, decrease pain, and treat stiff muscles, consider incorporating light stretching and range-of-motion exercises into your daily routine. Try relieving a pinched neck by rolling the neck from side to side and shrugging your shoulders. Treat lower back pressure by lying on the floor and bending your knees – pulling the legs up towards your chest.


[2] http://www.walgreens.com/q/potassium-supplements

[3] http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/CompostableStorageBags.aspx?SizeName=Compostable%20Storage%20Bags