Pinched cervical nerve

A pinched cervical nerve in the neck can lead to neck pain and a number of other symptoms in people of all ages. While a pinched nerve can be caused by spine degeneration in older patients, more often than not, nerve compression is traced to muscle strain and inflammation from minor injuries. Not surprisingly, one of the most common places to experience these injuries is around the home. Yard work, chores and rough-housing with the kids are all fairly regular occurrences, but can also lead to a pinched cervical nerve if you’re not careful.

A few tips

The good news is that even though a pinched cervical nerve is relatively common, there are a number of ways to avoid the most common pitfalls

  • Practice proper lifting techniques – lift with your knees, keep your back straight and head forward.
  • Take frequent breaks – taking a small break every hour can help avoid muscle spasms and fatigue.
  • Stretch before physical activity – proper stretching increases the flexibility and extension of the muscles that support the neck and reduces the risks of injury.
  • Don’t try to do too much – one of the most common ways that a person gets hurt is by overdoing it. Understand your limits, and don’t put yourself in a position where you’re likely to strain yourself.
  • Stay hydrated – drinking plenty of water and electrolytes will keep you from becoming dehydrated, cramped and prone to injury.
  • Avoid repetitive activities – constant bending, twisting or lifting puts extreme pressure on the spine and can accelerate wear and tear.
  • Practice good posture – regardless of your activity, it is important to maintain correct spine alignment to reduce your chances for a pinched cervical nerve.

Treatments

If, despite your best efforts, you experience a pinched cervical nerve, visit your physician for information on your treatment options. In most cases, a pinched nerve from a mild neck injury will respond to conservative treatments, such as pain medication, ice therapy and a little rest. In the event that your pain persists for several weeks, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures can accomplish nerve decompression without the risks and rehabilitation^ of traditional open spine surgery.

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