As someone who has two herniated discs in his neck, due to sports injuries, I know how bad this feels and what you’re dealing with. One of my discs are pushing against my spinal cords and if I am not careful, I can easily cause muscle spasms in my neck or pinched nerves. When this happens, my neck usually will tighten up and I cannot turn my head.
This is incredibly tough for people like me who love to stay active and do sports. The only thing we can do for now is adapt and learn how to correctly live with this injury or how to heal it, but that deep discussion will happen with your doctor. Luckily, the neck stretches for pinched nerve I will share soon, has helped me a lot. In this post I will teach you some neck stretches for pinched nerve in the neck to help you relieve any symptom you are currently having from your pinched nerve in your neck.
As always, before I begin, please consult with your medical professional first, I will keep these neck stretches for pinched nerve light, please do not push yourself too much, listen to your body.
What is a pinched nerve in the neck?
Usually when a nerve root has become compressed, inflamed, or even damaged you will definitely feel it. It will develop when the nerve root has gotten injured or inflamed.
This is usually known as a pinched nerve, this condition will result in weakness, numbness, tingling or a painful sensation. This is typically going to be around the neck, shoulders or even somewhere along the spine is where you’ll feel it. The neck stretches for pinched nerve I will soon share can help, as they helped with my situation, since I have two herniated discs as I mentioned. I still highly recommend consulting a doctor first, but in the meantime, you can still try these neck stretches for pinched nerve but slowly and do them carefully.
How does a pinched nerve in the neck happen?
This usually will happen if nerve signals in the body have been aggravated, amplified or interrupted in some way. Like I mentioned above, it will develop when the nerve root has gotten injured or inflamed. Pinched nerves are usually caused by a herniated disc, which may be the result of a sudden twist, bend or lifting.
It is very common in middle aged people and older adults. It is usually caused by age-related degeneration of the spine. Anything that may compress the nerves can cause this, like when the discs begin to shorten and this will cause the vertebrae to compress and irritate nearby nerves. Bone growths can be another factor as these also will compress the nerve.
A pinched nerve in the neck can feel like pins and needles being stuck into you. It can also cause pain, numbness and weakness in the shoulder, arm or hand. Repetitive stress on the hips, back, neck or joints from walking, standing or sitting for a long period of time can be a very common cause as to why this is happening. Like I said, adults are more likely to experience a pinched nerve, but several other factors can lead to this condition.
- Heavy or Intense Exercises and Weight Lifting
- Sports Injury
- Tight Hip Flexors
- Uncomfortable or bad sleep positions
- Car Accident
- Age-related spine degeneration
- Herniated Disc
- Bone growths that are compressing the nerves
- Sudden movements in twisting, bends, or moving
I’ll use myself as an example, as mentioned above, I have two herniated discs in my neck. One is pushed in and it is pressing onto my spinal cord. I’ve had multiple muscle spasms and pinched nerves because of doing sports or exercising by lifting weight or just pushing myself too hard.
One day very early in my injury when it most recently had happened, I had been lifting weights and doing my usual sports despite being injured, I know, dumb idea. I didn’t know much about the injury back then and didn’t take it serious enough. I was in the weight lifting room exercising by doing overhead presses.
While I was doing one of the reps, I had gotten the weight up, as soon as it went up, I felt a jolt in my neck and my neck basically twitched really fast multiple times in a single second. Luckily, I didn’t drop that weight on my head. As I set down the barbell, I slowly felt my neck tightening and swelling up, at least that is how it felt, after about 10 minutes I could barely turn my neck at all, I quickly lost mobility in my neck.
Basically, I had shocked my nerve during the exercise according to my doctor and pinched a nerve in my neck.
For a few weeks I couldn’t turn my head at all, I had to turn my body to look to my sides, it was really bad.
I had to be in physical therapy for a while, where they had me do the neck stretches for pinched nerve, I will soon show all of you. I also did some other good ones my coach in combat sports, Muay Thai taught me, because he also has had neck issues and had experience with pinched nerves himself. In Muay Thai it is also a common sport where neck issues and pinched nerves happen, due to the clinch, your neck is tugged on a lot.
These neck stretches for pinched nerve, as I said are very similar, if not, the same as the ones you’ll be doing in physical therapy, along with some extra ones I learned through other resources and from my sports coach too. These are very light neck stretches for pinched nerves that will help you regain mobility in your neck due to the pinched nerve, like it or not, you are injured or recovering from an injury, you have to take it slow and build yourself back up.
I will help you do it by advising you what to do, but as I said, your doctor takes top priority, do what your doctor says above all else.
If the case is severe, I highly recommend seeing a doctor right away for the pinched nerve. If it is a mild pinched nerve, I still recommend seeing a doctor, then trying out these neck stretches for pinched nerve, but if you want, you can try these light neck stretches for pinched nerve to help with your pinched nerve but go very light.
3 Neck Stretches for a Pinched Nerve
DISCLAMER: IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR SPECIALIST ABOUT THE PINCHED NERVE FIRST!
1. Chin Tuck
This neck stretch for pinched nerve will have a few variations, please do them all to help with the pinched nerve. Sit or stand straight with good posture and neutral head position for all of these chin tuck stretches.
- Sit or stand straight, good posture and neutral head position while looking straight ahead. Place your fingers onto your chin and push your chin towards your neck as far as it will go. Hold for a few seconds and then release. You should feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Do these neck stretches for pinched nerve six to eight times.
- Take your left hands fingers, put them on the left side of your chin and push your chin to the right as much as your head can turn. Hold this for a few seconds, then start over. Do these neck stretches for pinched nerve for six to eight reps.
- For this last one, do the same thing as the first variation, place your fingers on your chin and push your chin into your neck. Now push your chin up and look up as far as you can push up. While still looking up, turn your head side to side, then reset. Do these neck stretches for pinched nerve for six to eight reps.
These neck stretches for pinched nerve was taught to me by my Muay Thai coach and has helped me greatly with my neck and any pinched nerve symptoms, I was surprised the first time I went into physical therapy for the pinched nerve and my neck issues, they had me do the same thing, they were surprised that I already knew about all of these variations. Do these neck stretches for pinched nerve and rest for a few minutes, then switch to the next neck stretches for pinched nerve to help with your pinched nerve symptoms.
2. Trap Stretch
This neck stretch for a pinched nerve is one of the best neck stretch for a stiff neck or pinched nerve and will definitely help with your pinched nerve symptoms. If your traps are tight this will lead to nerve compression and as we learned above, nerve compression can cause a pinched nerve.
To perform this neck stretch for a pinched nerve, place the right hand under the thigh. Then, you use your left hand to stretch your neck to the left, away from your right hand. Do these six to eight times and then switch to the other way.
After doing the reps, put your left hand under your thigh now, take your right hand and stretch your neck to the right, away from the left hand. Do these six to eight times.
This is a great neck stretch for pinched nerves and is sure to help relieve any symptoms of a pinched nerve. Do these then rest for a couple minutes and move to the next neck stretch for pinched nerves.
3. Head Roll Stretch
This last one is both a neck stretch for a pinched nerve and a cool down after finishing all the other neck stretches for a pinched nerve. This will finish up you’re stretching and help ease the symptoms of the pinched nerve.
For the start position, start with your head straight and neutral, look forward. Once again only do these stretches after you spoke to a medical professional about your pinched nerve.
Now, start by moving your neck to the left, then slowly roll your head back, then to the right, then forward to the front. With your head down, you have completed the movement, do these neck stretches for pinched nerve for six to eight reps to help relieve any symptoms of a pinched nerve in your neck.
Do these neck stretches for pinched nerve consistently everyday until your pinched nerve symptoms in your neck begin to ease up, then as they ease up, I want you to get into the neck exercises for pinched nerve slowly in my other blog post below.