According to Health Line, 85 out of every 100,000 adults experiences pinched nerve in the shoulder.
In case you don’t know how pinched nerve feels like, it’s the tingling sensation or pain you feel in the neck that radiates beyond your elbow or to your fingertips. It’s usually dull aches, numbness, and weakness in the shoulders when you move your neck.
To have a further understanding of the pinched nerve in the shoulder, we’ve written down some symptoms, causes, and relief. Read along.
How To Self-Test
- Neck Compression Test
Tilt your head to the non-painful side, and then from the other side. Rotate your head outwards slightly, then hold in this position for 30-60 seconds. Do the same steps to the painful side. If you feel the pain in the neck, going to the arm, then you may have a pinched nerve.
- Arm Tension Test
Another self-test to try is the arm tension test. Start from the non-painful arm by extending it in front of you. Keep your wrist straight in-line with your arms. Turn your palm outward and extend your arm to the side as far as you can, and do the same steps on your other arm. If you begin to feel a pressure of tingling sensation on the path throughout the arms or in the neck, then this means you have a pinched nerve.
Causes of Pinched Nerve
Pinched nerve usually happens when a structure or material, such as bone, disk protrusions, or swollen tissue, puts pressure on the nerves extending from the spinal column toward the neck and shoulder. This phenomenon is most common in people aged 50 to 54 because of age-related degeneration of the spine.
It can also be caused by the following:
Herniated disk: A person usually feel the pain when they do strenuous activities such as bending, twisting, or lifting. This is where the disc usually press on the nerve where they exit on the spinal column.
Acute injury: if you have been into an accidental fall, whether from sports, or in a car accident, that causes a herniated disk or tissue inflammation in the body that presses on the nerves.
Ways to Relieve Yourself from Pinched Nerve
If you’re experiencing intense symptoms of pinched nerve in the shoulders, try the following:
- Apply ice packs
Try applying cloth covered ice packs to the painful area, at the neck and shoulder blade area to be specific over a period of up to 48 hours after the pain started. 48 hours, try using warm, moist heat to relieve the pain.
- Use orthopedic pillow
There is an array of orthopedic pillows available online, especially on Amazon. Try choosing a pillow with an ergonomic design to help support and cradle your head, neck, and shoulders. Also, the unique contouring features are ideal for easy transitioning from side and back. Moreover, it will allow you to sleep deeply and wake up feeling refreshed at the same time.
- Take pain-relieving medications
Doctors usually recommend taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve the pinched nerve in the shoulders.
- Engage in gentle stretching or daily exercise
Try gentle stretches and yoga to relieve tension and pressure in the area. Make sure not to stretch too much as this may make symptoms worse.
You can try the neck bends to provide relief. To do this, gently move your chin down and toward your chest. Pause and return to starting position. Repeat these steps for five to ten times.
The shoulder roll is also a great exercise to release the tension in your neck and shoulders. All you have to do is lift your shoulder blades, and then roll them back and down. Repeat in the opposite.