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4 Ways Physical Therapy Heals a Pinched Nerve

Physical therapists can work with you to improve your mobility and flexibility.

Physical therapy can be helpful in patients with physical injuries or disabilities. Many times, a client will suffer from discomfort or injury, and their general practitioner will send them to a physical therapist in addition to pharmaceutical assistance. Working with your doctor, Living Well Balanced, can help you find a holistic solution to your injuries or chronic pain, including pinched nerves. To understand how we can help, you may want to know what a pinched nerve is and what physical therapy can do to help.

What is a pinched nerve?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a pinched nerve is a name for pain that occurs when tissues swell and applies pressure on a nerve. Tissues that surround a nerve can be:

  • Bones
  • Cartilage
  • Muscles
  • Tendons

The nerve registers that pressure in a few ways. For example, you may notice a pinched nerve because you begin feeling pain or numbness in that area. Common areas are pinched nerves in your neck, leg, or lower back.

However, the pinched nerve doesn’t have to be in the same place as where you are experiencing pain. If your pinched nerve is in your lower back or spine, you may feel pain, tingling or weakness in your legs. Depending on where the nerve is and how it is connected to joints or other body parts, the pain can radiate from the initial nerve to other extremities based on how serious it is. That’s why sometimes people have chronic pain in their legs or hips but a pinched nerve in their spine.

Not all pain is a sign of a pinched nerve. Specific symptoms of a pinched nerve are:

  • Decreased sensation in the surrounding areas of your body
  • Sharp or aching that radiate outward from one particular point
  • Paresthesia or the sensation of pins and needles in your limbs, like your limb has fallen asleep.

If these symptoms are worse when you are lying down, this can also be a sign of a pinched nerve. If you think you have a pinched nerve, you can seek medical assistance from your general practitioner for a diagnosis. You can also reach out to a physical therapist near you to receive training and treatment.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a medical treatment that uses muscle movement and fitness to improve a client’s mobility, strength, and balance. This type of therapy is often recommended after an injury that impacts how the clients use their muscles or joints, like a sports injury or a sprain or break.

Physical therapists are licensed medical professionals who work with patients and their doctors to determine a treatment plan that helps the patient regain or master movement without pain. That can include retraining your body to do things differently or strengthening your existing muscle groups.

Typically, the physical therapist will create an exercise and treatment plan that targets the client’s specific needs. Then, the physical therapist will meet with the client over a period of weeks or months to track their progress and adjust their treatment as needed. You can learn more about the physical therapy we offer at Living Well balanced by looking at our services.

4 ways physical therapy can help a pinched nerve

Physical therapy can be a useful treatment for a pinched nerve. Here is how this therapy can help:

1. Increases strength and flexibility

Typically, when a nerve is pinched, the pressure around the nerve needs to be released to relieve pain or regain feeling in the nerve. A physical therapist can teach you exercises and help you stretch the muscle so the nerve receives that pressure release. Physical therapy can help you build strength and show you how to accurately work out specific muscle groups to avoid further strain on your pinched nerve. Building up your strength and flexibility can also help you prevent further nerve damage in the future.

2. Less invasive than surgery

Surgery can be a very invasive and dangerous treatment for any illness, so many patients prefer to avoid it if possible. Furthermore, not all patients are candidates for surgery. Physical therapists provide a non-surgical and less invasive alternative that is very effective. Sometimes surgery is unavoidable, but even in those circumstances, physical therapy can help patients recover from their surgery faster.

3. Provides a specific treatment plan

A physical therapist can provide a knowledgeable treatment plan to help you receive the best results as quickly as possible because they can work with you and your specific injury. For example, if you have a pinched nerve in your neck, a physical therapist is familiar with the specific exercises that can target that muscle and provide relief.

4. Incorporates rest

Rest is an essential part of fitness and healing. Physical therapists don’t recommend attempting to exercise or trying to relieve the pressure around a pinched nerve without supervision. It isn’t recommended to overwork your nerve, and your physical therapist can recommend how much rest your pinched nerve needs to heal fully.

At Living Well Balanced, we offer a wide range of fitness and physical health services from caring and experienced professionals. We provide personal training and physical, occupational, and nutritional therapy to assist our clients in their health and wellness management. You can make an appointment with one of our occupational therapists to learn how they can benefit your treatment plan for injury recovery or prevention and chronic pain. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at 212-579-2858 or send an email to info@livingwb.com. Check out our blog for more information about alternative therapies.

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