Feeling “electric” shocks, sharp pain, tingling in your upper back, neck, arm, or shoulder blade? It’s possible you’re suffering from a pinched nerve in shoulder. If so, there is relief ahead. Let’s take a look at some things that may help…
What Exactly is a Pinched Nerve?
The word “pinched” in this scenario means increased pressure. It’s as if other elements invade and squish the nerve’s space. So, imagine you’ve got this well-functioning nerve. Over time, pressure from bones, cartilage, peripheral nerves, and surrounding tissue can cause stress on that nerve. Inevitably, it’s going to hurt.
It’s also not going to function properly. The nerve may no longer be able to send sensory impulses to the brain. That is why you may be experiencing some numbness—in addition to the pain.
Common Complaint Symptoms in the Shoulder Area
If you’ve ruled out potential heart attack or stroke, then your symptoms are most likely due to a pinched nerve. Some of them are:
- tingling (as if your arm has fallen asleep – pins and needles)
- sharp pain (like someone is stabbing you in the shoulder blade)
- numbness (a strange feeling of “no feeling”)
- muscle weakness
- burning sensation
Sometimes, this pain seems amplified when you’re sleeping. In the daytime, the symptoms will come and go. That is, if nerve injury hasn’t yet occurred. We certainly don’t want any type of long-term damage.
Hence, it’s time to figure out what’s causing this painful bugger. After that, you can change your bodily behavior to reverse the symptoms. Or, there are other steps you can take to relieve the pressure on the pinched nerve in shoulder.
What is Getting on My Nerves?
Believe it or not, many habitual actions can cause a problem for us over a period of time. It’s not like a pinched nerve in shoulder is caused by a one-time action or an injury (like falling off a bike or lifting too much weight.) Are you engaging in any of these behaviors daily?
- Carrying a heavy purse on the same arm. This can cause swelling around those nerves. Think about it. There’s pressure on that area of your shoulder, day in and day out.
- Typing on a computer. You’re probably slouching over the keyboard, placing stress on muscles and tendons. A good lumbar cushion will help you sit up straighter. We like THIS ONE HERE.
- Using tools or engaging in other repetitive activities. Using your arm and shoulder in the same movement, over and over, will absolutely cause stress.
- Leaning on your elbows. This places undue pressure and will eventually cause inflammation around certain nerves.
Keep in mind, nerve injury from, let’s say, your neck, can radiate to your shoulder. Be mindful of all of your activities. Your pinched nerve may actually be elsewhere. Any type of irritation to nerves can spread to and from other areas of your body.
What Can I Do To Help Myself?
One of the most positive pieces of news is that the typical pinched nerve is usually treatable at home. With that said, let’s explore some options:
- Get rest. Most experts will agree that resting your body will help it heal more quickly and efficiently. Don’t use the shoulder with the pinched nerve, if possible.
- Adjust your posture. Without causing more pain to the area, lift your shoulders. Take a deep breath. Finally, allow your arms to rest at your side naturally, keeping your shoulders back without tension.
- Avoid activity that causes more pain. For example, don’t go to the batting cage or play golf or tennis if it hurts your shoulder.
- Try doing work while standing. If you’re able to get or create a standing workstation, this may help a lot of your postural challenges.
- Use essential oils. You can rub them (when diluted with olive oil) directly onto the affected sore area. Or, you can use drops in the bath with warm water. We recommend a Therapeutic Grade of ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL OIL.
- For pain relief, there’s always cold-pressed CBD oil. And did you know unrefined HEMP OIL works wonders?! We suggest Nutiva brand because it’s organic, affordable, and has many good reviews.
- Get a memory foam lumbar back cushion for support. We like this one to help with posture and pain relief.
- Stretch gently. Elongate the muscles and try to relieve the pressure on the pinched nerve in shoulder. If it becomes too uncomfortable, ease up on the stretch.
Most importantly, be patient. This trauma to your nerve didn’t happen overnight. It may take weeks or months for the nerve to become repaired. Therefore, it may take a little while for your symptoms to dissipate.
What are Other Ways to Fix the Pinch?
If you find that the at-home suggestions are not helping, you may want to see a doctor. There are a few things he/she may recommend. For one, applying heat may relax the muscles. This may help with some of the constriction. On the other hand, applying cold will help decrease the inflammation in the surrounding area.
Physical therapy may be recommended to assist in the healing process. This might include a series of exercises, injections, or medications. Many health insurance plans cover a large portion of the cost of physical therapy. You’ll need a plan to decide on the number of recommended visits.
A not-so-good scenario is if compression was unresolved and remains for a long period of time. Unfortunately, this could possibly cause permanent nerve injury. Although this is an unlikely circumstance, it could happen if the situation were ignored. As a last result, a health practitioner might suggest surgery.
The Nerve Conclusion
The goal, of course, is to eliminate pain on the pinched nerve in shoulder. However, there are many options before making an extreme decision such as surgery. As we mentioned, most compressed nerve pain can be relieved at home with rest and time.
Whenever you need assistance with medical or health issues, please feel free to check GetThrive’s archives. Our website holds thousands of expert-based articles to assist you and your family’s needs.
TIP: When you’re feeling better, switch carrying your purse from the right arm to the left every other day. You are in charge of making yourself feel better. You definitely can do it!