… The 6 Best Solutions
If a nerve receives too much pressure from surrounding tissues, bone or cartilage, it can become “pinched” and unable to transmit electrical signals properly. Eventually, when a nerve is pinched it may stop working entirely, which often leads to tingling, burning and shooting pains along with feelings of numbness or muscle weakness.
Neck and back pain are often associated with a pinched nerve due to inflammation and pressure on the nerve root as it exits your spine. A herniated or bulging disc in your spine is another common reason that nerves get “pinched,” as is arthritis of the spine, which may lead to bone spurs that in turn create increased pressure or “pinching” of the surrounding nerves.
If you think you have a pinched nerve, it’s important to act quickly to get a proper diagnosis and relief. As the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes points out:[i]
“Early diagnosis is important to prevent further damage or complications.”
Your conventional physician is likely to suggest medications as a “solution,” but they will do absolutely nothing to resolve the pinched nerve, or your pain once you stop taking them (and who wants to stay on pain pills, with their myriad of side effects, forever?).
If you want a lasting solution, one that will help resolve the underlying reasons why your nerve became pinched in the first place, drugs are not the answer. The options that follow, however, are among the best available for pinched nerve relief — and they’re all completely natural.
6 Options for Lasting Pinched Nerve Relief
1. Resolve Your Muscle Imbalances and Postural Dysfunctions
What are muscle imbalances and postural dysfunctions, you ask? They’re the result of long hours spent hunched over your computer, digging in your yard, sitting or standing with poor posture, inactivity, and much more. These common, yet damaging, activities throw off the natural balance of your body, so that one muscle is used more often (and therefore grows stronger) than an opposing muscle (which becomes weakened). In other words, you get muscle imbalances, which, in turn, leads to postural dysfunctions, in which your bones remain in an abnormal position, leading to uneven and excessive compression and torsion that causes problems with your back health.
Muscle Balance Therapy,â„¢ which is a key component of the Lose the Back Pain System, addresses both the pain of a pinched nerve and the root of the problem — in other words, what’s causing the pressure in the first place.
Through strategic body assessments, your individual muscle imbalances can be identified. Once that is done, a very targeted corrective program can be designed for your specific needs! Likewise, there are specific exercises you can learn to strengthen muscles and help relieve pressure on the affected nerve, all of which you can learn and perform on your own with guidance from the Lose the Back Pain System.
2. Relieve Your Trigger Points
Trigger points, tiny contraction knots in your muscles and tissues that develop when an area of your body is injured or over-worked, can also be involved in pinched-nerve related conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. And in that case, Trigger Point Therapy can be a very effective form of lasting self-treatment.
Developed by a board-certified neurological chiropractor who sought relief for his own disabling low-back and chronic shoulder-arm pain, the Trigger Point Self-Treatment System allows you to identify and then pressure massage your trigger points in the comfort of your own home by simply using your body weight while completely relaxing into the treatment platform.
There are other hand-held devices available to treat trigger points. However, they require you to tighten your muscles to use, which prevents the deep massage needed to work out and actually “deactivate” your trigger points. The Trigger Point Self-Treatment System will release and deactivate your trigger points, thus relieving the underlying cause of your pain.
3. A Heating Pad with Far-Infrared Heat
Studies show that heat receptors located at injury sites in your body can actually block chemical messengers that allow your body to detect pain. Researchers have, in fact, stated that heat “deactivates pain at the molecular level in much the same way as pharmaceutical painkillers work.”[ii]
But not just any type of heat will do.
You know how good it feels to lie in the sun? This is because of a specific wavelength of light known as far-infrared rays (FIR). Unlike ultraviolet rays that are associated with sunburn and skin cancer, FIR is safe and will not burn your skin. What it will do is penetrate deep into your body where, along with acting on your tissues thermally, infrared light may have photo-chemical effects, which means photons (light waves) interact directly with individual molecules to induce chemical changes. One of its primary uses is for treatment of muscle aches and pains, because the heat is capable of penetrating down two to three inches (compared to just 2-3 mm for regular heating pads).
A high-quality FIR back pain heating pad will not only give you relief, it will help speed natural healing. For even more relief, try alternating heat with an ice pack, 20 minutes each for three repetitions each. Heat relaxes the nerves that fire pain signals, while ice numbs them, essentially “shocking” the body out of the pain-spasm cycle.
4. Exercise (and Specifically, These 10 Exercises)
The underlying causes of back pain, including muscle imbalances, poor posture, repetitive stresses, injury and obesity, are identical to those that create the “perfect storm” of conditions to put your nerves under enough pressure to cause pain. Exercise is effective in helping to relieve several of these underlying causes, including muscle imbalances, poor posture, and obesity.
Exercise is important because without it, your back and abdominal muscles will weaken, which is one of the primary causes of back pain. Gentle exercise, such as yoga and stretching, can also help to improve your posture, improve function and reduce symptoms.
More specifically, the 10 simple shoulder and back exercises described here can provide pinched nerve relief, as well as speed up your recovery.
5. Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Nerve pain is often associated with inflammation, and your diet can either contribute to or help relieve systemic inflammation. Simply speaking, most “whole” foods, like fresh fruits and vegetable, nuts, green tea, grass-fed beef, chicken, olive oil, spices, beans, etc., are anti-inflammatory, whereas processed foods, sugar, alcohol, vegetable oils, white bread and fast foods are inflammatory. As an added bonus, this type of diet will promote a healthy weight, which is also important for preventing pinched nerve recurrence.
6. Try Inverting!
It may sound too simple to be true, but by hanging upside down using a high-quality inversion table, you can increase the space between your vertebrae, relaxing the pressure on your discs, ligaments and nerve roots. Increasing intra-vertebral space means reducing pressure on the nerve roots, which means less likelihood of nerve root damage. Plus, when used over time inversion therapy promotes better posture – which is key to healing and preventing more pinched nerves and back problems in the future!
Remember, the faster you achieve pinched nerve relief, the better. By relieving the pressure quickly, the nerve function will return to normal. It’s only when the pressure continues that chronic pain and permanent nerve damage can occur. So try one or all of the options above, but do try something — especially something other than medications or surgery.
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Written By: Updated: March 28,2012