Neck Nerve Pain

Pain in your neck might be nerve related; a condition that is often referred to as a “pinched nerve”. This occurs when the nerves that extend through the arms and legs (peripheral nerves) get their electrical signals interrupted by being compressed. If that happens, the flow of electrical impulses is weakened or stopped altogether, and vital signals get dropped, causing pain in the affected and surrounding area. Causes of neck nerve pain are varied and can include herniated discs or bone spurs in the spine from spinal arthritis. Carpal tunnel syndrome is another possible cause of pinched nerves which affects the arms and fingers by causing numbness, tingling and weakness.

Symptoms of pinched nerves can manifest as radiating pain down one or both legs. Called “referred pain” because the pain in an extremity is not the actual cause of the problem, it can include hot and cold sensations in the limbs, muscle spasms, a feeling like electricity is running down the extremities, or a sensation of burning.


Treatments can include several holistic options, including ice and rest. Taking a hot shower may help with the neck nerve pain by increasing blood flow and allowing the nerve to better transmit signals. Many people get a friend or partner to use a hand-held massaging device on the affected area, or may get a professional massage for relief. Try rolling your head gently around and from side to side and see if that alleviates the pain or other sensations you are experiencing. Taking an anti-inflammatory medication might help with pain and it can help reduce swelling, thereby possibly improving nerve transmissions.

If pain persists, go see a doctor. Causes such as herniated discs and bone spurs are not going to respond to home remedies and serious cases may even require surgical intervention. While every serious case does not always result in surgery, there are certain things that only a doctor can do for you. This might include prescription medication or cortisone injections to alleviate the pain and irritation caused by bulging or herniated discs. Your doctor may also recommend an exercise or stretching program that will help improve physical conditioning, circulation and ease of movement.

Other causes of neck nerve pain might include abnormalities in the bones, spine or joints, poor posture, muscle strains, tendonitis, shoulder joint instability, dislocation, fractures or even a tumor. Only a doctor can tell you for sure what the root cause is, but in addition to medicinal remedies, non-intrusive holistic remedies are available to you after you’ve determined the cause.

Until you either get relief from home remedies or need a doctor diagnoses your problem, get lots of rest, ice the affected area if it brings relief, and try to stay away from any activities that might further aggravate your injury. Stay away from heavy lifting or strenuous sports, but do try to move about if it isn’t too painful. Movement can help relieve some neck nerve pain but take it easy and listen to your body.

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Filed Under: Neck Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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