The benefits of nerve pain exercises

Chronic nerve pain from a spine condition can disrupt your life and severely limit your mobility, so it may be surprising to learn that exercise is an effective way to relieve symptoms.

Many patients may think of bed rest as the best treatment for neck or back pain, and for a long time, that was the standard advice. While physicians are still recommending intermittent rest to relieve nerve pain, there has also been a realization that too much of a sedentary lifestyle can lead to loss of muscle, declined circulation and reduced range of motion that can actually worsen nerve pain.

Your doctor should be able to help you strike a balance between rest and nerve pain exercises that is right for you. If you have been diagnosed with any condition that causes chronic nerve pain, it is important to consult your doctor or physical therapist before you do any exercises.

Types of nerve pain exercises and stretches

Isometric nerve pain exercises and stretches — involving muscle contractions and ligament stretching without joint movement — are a good choice when you want to work your muscles and increase flexibility without overexerting the parts of the spine. Some examples of isometric exercises for nerve pain include:

  • Gluteal bridge — Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet on the floor. Slowly press your buttocks toward the ceiling, keeping the entire length of your arms in contact with the floor, hold for 15 seconds and release.
  • Knee-to-chest stretch — Lie flat on your back, keeping your spine relaxed. Bend both legs and with your hands wrapped around the back of one thigh, gently pull in toward your chest. You should feel a light stretch in your hamstring and lower back.
  • Pelvic tilt — Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet on the floor; tighten your abdominal muscles and press your pelvis upwards a few inches while your lower back remains on the floor; hold for 15 seconds and release.

How to vary your treatment plan

Some people find it helpful to vary their routine to include a mix of low-impact cardiovascular and strength-training exercises. Specific methods include using an exercise ball, elliptical trainer, practicing restorative yoga or hydrotherapy. Walking and swimming are also excellent low-impact ways to stay in shape that often help nerve pain symptoms.

If weeks or months of conservative treatment, including nerve pain exercises and stretches, do not help you find lasting relief, Laser Spine Institute may be able to help.

While spinal decompression or fusion surgery can help treat the causes of nerve pain at the source, traditional procedures require large incisions that sever muscles, leading to a long and sometimes painful recovery period. Our surgeons at Laser Spine Institute use state-of-the-art technology to access the spine with smaller incisions that allow for a shorter recovery period with less scarring^ compared to traditional open spine surgery.

Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to see if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.