A pinched nerve can be a very painful thing to have to deal with. However, exercises to help strengthen the area are often the most successful way to find pain relief and keep the injury from recurring. Here are a few exercises you can do to help relieve your pain due to a pinched nerve.
1. To help relieve tension in your back and stretch it out, lay on the ground with your legs extended. Your arms should be out, forming a sort of “T” shape with your body. Pick up your left leg, bend it and place it over your right, bringing your hips into a side position and putting your knee on the ground. Your legs should create some semblance of the number 4 in this position. It’s important to only extend as far as you’re feeling a stretch – if you can’t reach the ground with your knee, that’s ok. Don’t injure yourself further, pull back as soon as you feel pain. Return to center after holding this position for about 10 seconds. Repeat with the right leg.
2. A similar stretch can be performed while sitting up. Facing forward, place your left hand on your right knee. Turn your left shoulder towards your right knee creating a stretch in your back. Hold this position comfortably for 10 seconds or so. Return to center and repeat on the other side.
3. To stretch the low back, begin in a sitting position. Bend over and touch your toes until you feel the stretch. Hold this position for a few seconds, then release.
4. For pinched nerves in the shoulder area, try this exercise. Stand up and let both arms hang at your sides. Bring your shoulders up towards your neck, then rotate them back and down. Repeat this exercise 15 times, take a short break then repeat the set again.
5. The bench press with a broom can be very helpful for relieving pain in the shoulder area as well. Do not try this exercise with a barbell when you’re doing it for pinched nerve rehabilitation and prevention. The point is to stretch and mobilize the muscles, not strengthen the muscles in your arms and chest. To do it, lie down on the floor or on a bench. Hold the broomstick at shoulder height, and then push it up until your elbows are straightened. Then bring it back down. Repeat this motion 15 times, rest then do 15 more.
6. For pinched nerves in the neck, try basic neck stretches. Bring your chin down towards your chest. Rotate it from left to right, making a compete circle. It’s important not to overextend. If your neck starts to hurt, pick your chin up a little. Do 5 complete circles, then change direction and do 5 more. Half circles can also be a productive movement.
7. You can also stretch the muscles in your neck by placing your hands behind your head. Pull your chin down towards your chest and to the right. Don’t go too far here. You don’t want to add to the original injury. Hold a comfortable spot for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
For added blood flow, try doing some of these exercises in a hot shower. The combination of heat and stretching can provide ultimate relaxation and pain relief.
The Healthy Back Institute is focused on helping you relieve your pain from a pinched nerve and has a wide variety of e-books and DVDs full of techniques.
Written By: Updated: June 30,2011