Pinched Nerve | Exercise

Whether you’re missing out on your favorite activities or having difficulty at work, pain caused by a pinched nerve is something to seek immediate treatment for. A popular approach for pain relief is exercise, due to the many benefits physical activity can provide. One of the biggest advantages of exercise is that the right program can help to strengthen the supporting core muscles, taking away some of the pressure on the spine that can lead to nerve compression.

Exercise is a very important part of a range of nonsurgical options for relieving pain from a pinched nerve in the back. Always consult your doctor to develop a broad treatment plan that works best for you, whether conducted through conservative methods, such as exercise or surgical techniques when the pain becomes too severe. Learn more about what treatments may help alleviate your pinched nerve symptoms in the following article.

Types of pinched nerve conservative treatment

When a pinched has been diagnosed as the cause of your painful symptoms, the first step will usually be management through some of the following nonsurgical methods:

  • Alternating hot/cold compression
  • Physical therapy or chiropractic care
  • Over-the-counter pain medication

A pinched nerve is typically caused by conditions such as herniated or bulging discs, facet cysts or bone spurs and results in numbness, tingling, weakness or pain somewhere in the body. The exact location of the symptoms will depend on where the pinched nerve is located within the neck or back.

Exercise as a pinched nerve treatment

In addition to the above methods, regular exercise is an extremely important lifestyle choice that can effectively relieve pinched nerve pain. An excellent choice of exercise is Pilates, which focuses on the core muscles in the back and abdomen. Stronger back muscles can provide better support to the vertebrae and discs, placing less pressure on the spinal column and nerves.

Other pinched nerve exercises include aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling and swimming to increase blood circulation and deliver oxygen as well as nutrients to the damaged nerve. Yoga can assist in controlled breathing and relaxation in order to strengthen the body. Water exercises can also help relieve pinched nerve pain by loosening the body and adding flexibility.

Before beginning any exercise program, you should always discuss the decision with your doctor or spine specialist. Some conditions can worsen with exercise and care should be taken to ensure further damage is not done to the neck and back by overworking the muscles.

If exercise doesn’t help a pinched nerve

When a full course of conservative treatments, including regular exercise, does not bring the relief you need for the quality of life you deserve, surgery can then become an option. A minimally invasive procedure performed at Laser Spine Institute may help treat a pinched nerve when exercise does not. Our procedures utilize less than 1-inch incisions, are extremely precise and require no lengthy recovery^ compared to traditional open spine procedures.

When determining if you are a candidate for surgery, it may be discovered that your issues are advanced enough to require full disc removal and a fusion to access the nerve where it is pinched and relieve nerve compression. In this situation, Laser Spine Institute can perform a minimally invasive stabilization procedure which is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open fusion procedures.^ For more mild conditions, we may recommend a minimally invasive decompression surgery, which removes only a small piece of the damaged disc or bone in the spine to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today and request a no-cost MRI review* to learn if our outpatient procedures would be effective in relieving your pinched nerve pain.

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