Stretching reduces chronic pain symptoms
Apart from over-the-counter pain medications, many chronic neck pain sufferers will seek guidance from physical therapists to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the pinched nerve. Mild to moderate neck pain can be relieved with regular stretching of the neck and surrounding muscles. To reduce or prevent symptoms, the following stretches can help.
1. Shoulder roll
Individuals with pinched neck nerves can also experience painful symptoms in the surrounding areas. Shoulder rolls relieve tension and pain from the shoulders and neck. To begin, shoulders should be lifted toward the ears and gently rolled back and down. The stretch can be repeated for about 5 times or 30 seconds. Repeat in the opposite direction.
2. Neck Bend
A simple neck bend stretch can be repeated 5 to 10 times to relieve tension in the neck. While standing or sitting, individuals should delicately move the chin down toward the chest. The person should hold the position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
3. Head Turn
Head turns are simple stretches that can improve a person’s range of motion in the neck. Individuals must begin by looking forward. The head should be slowly turned to the right and held for about 10 seconds. Repeat in the opposite direction. Head turns can also be performed from side to side or up and down.
4. Chin Tuck
Chin tucks work by stretching the neck and improving posture. While standing or sitting, individuals should place a finger on the chin. While keeping the finger on the chin, the person should then gently push the chin toward the neck and hold the position for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat as necessary.
Recovery and prevention
In some cases of a pinched nerve in the neck, the symptoms can be alleviated with simple home remedies and avoiding strenuous physical activity. In severe cases, doctors may use pain medications, steroid injections to reduce swelling, splints, or surgery. Prevention with regular stretching can drastically reduce a person’s chance of developing chronic neck pain.