A pinched nerve can occur anywhere in the back, shoulder, or neck, and how to treat a pinched nerve is a big concern. Your neck is like the busy highway of your body, with nerves zipping messages back and forth.

A sudden traffic jam occurs on that highway when you have a pinched nerve in your neck. Something, like a bone spur or a tight muscle, squeezes one of those nerve pathways, causing discomfort.

You might feel pain, tingling, or even weakness in your neck, shoulder, or arm. It’s like your nerve sends an SOS signal, asking for a little breathing room to return to smooth sailing.

What Causes a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve anywhere in the body can be due to multiple causes. Some of them include:

  • Being female: Ladies are likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome because their carpal tunnels (little ones in the wrist) are usually smaller.
  • Bone spurs: If your bones grow strangely or get thicker (like with arthritis), they can crowd your nerves and cause trouble.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This kind of arthritis can make your joints all swollen and pinchy, squeezing on your nerves.
  • Thyroid issues: People with thyroid problems are more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome.

Some associated risk factors also increase your chances of a pinched nerve. Such as:

  • Diabetes: It can mess with your nerves and make them more likely to get pinched.
  • Repetitive Movements: If your job or hobbies involve repetitive hand, wrist, or shoulder motions, you are more at risk.
  • Obesity: Extra pounds can put extra pressure on your nerves.
  • Pregnancy: The swelling and weight gain during pregnancy can squeeze on your nerves.
  • Excessive Bed Rest: Lying down for a long time can make it more likely for nerves to get squished.

How Long Can a Pinched Nerve in Neck Last?

A pinched nerve in the neck can last a few weeks to months. Certain treatments like lifestyle changes, anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and epidural injections can be recommended by your physician for quick relief.

Available Treatments for a Pinched Nerve in Neck

When you have a pinched nerve, there are many ways to help you feel better, starting with simple remedies. Your doctor might suggest taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve to take the edge off. It’s also important to keep moving but avoid activities that worsen the pain.

Your doctor might recommend using a soft neck collar and switching to a special pillow for a pinched nerve in your neck. Physical therapy and exercises to move your neck and strengthen the muscles around it can also speed up the healing process and ease the ache.

If the pain worsens, your doctor might prescribe stronger medications like a short burst of steroids or certain pills that help calm down nerve pain, like gabapentin or amitriptyline. Sometimes, they might even suggest shots of steroids right into the area that hurts the most. It’s all about finding what works best to give your nerves a break and help you feel like yourself again.

Final Thoughts

Luckily, how to treat a pinched nerve in the neck is not a big concern; most people are aware that rest is the most effective in this condition. However, if the pain worsens or persists for long, immediately contact a healthcare provider.

Visit our pain management expert, Dr. Raza Jafri, at Genesis Pain Clinic. Our doctor has extensive knowledge and experience in interventional pain management for timely relief. Call us at (913) 871-9888 to book an appointment.

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