As someone who has 2 herniated discs in his neck, due to sport related injuries, I know how it feels when you pinch a nerve in your neck. My discs are pushing against my spinal cord so while working out and doing heavy weight lifting and other heavy exercises. I’ve had occasions where I pinched a nerve and lost almost all mobility in my neck, I could not move my neck much at all due to the pinched nerve. I’ve also had muscle spasms in my neck during exercises or my combat sports activities.
Which is why I always recommend being careful while you’re active. Some of us can’t stay away from the active lifestyle or our exercises but we need to adapt, at least until we can fully handle this injury we have or are recovering from. In this article I will share with you, 3 amazing pinched nerve in neck exercises to help relieve your neck stiffness and pain.
What is a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve is basically a compressed or even a damaged nerve. It usually develops when a nerve root has become injured or inflamed. That nerve root is the part where a nerve branches off from your spinal cord.
A person who has a pinched nerve usually will experience one to many symptoms. Usually those symptoms are weakness, tingling, or numbness in their neck, shoulders, arms, or hands. Pinched nerves can usually happen due to age or arthritis or wear and tear on their spine.
Most people with pinched nerves are reluctant to do any form of exercise because of pain and tingling they feel, I can vouch for those feelings and it is tough to deal with. However, staying still someone’s is worse and can make the pain even worse because it could cause tension and wasting in the nearby muscles.
Luckily, I have some pinched nerve in neck exercises that can help you relieve this pain of this pinched nerve in your neck and get you back on track, like I said I’ve experienced this many times, I’ll give you some pinched nerve in neck exercises and I have another blog post where I get into some neck stretches for a pinched nerve you can do to help relieve the stiffness and other symptoms for a pinched nerve you are feeling in your neck.
If at any moment you feel like you cannot do these pinched nerve in neck exercises, I’ll link you to the neck stretches for a pinched nerve and you can do those first until you ease those symptoms of the pinched nerve and then you can do these pinched nerve in neck exercises to feel even better after, or you can supplement both the neck stretches and pinched nerve in neck exercises together to help your neck.
How does a pinched nerve in the neck happen?
Before getting started with the pinched nerve in neck exercises, I feel it is necessary I help you understand why these pinched nerve situations are happening. This happens due to nerve signals in the body being aggravated, amplified or interrupted in some way. Repetitive stress on the neck, back, hips or joints from walking, standing or sitting for long periods of time is a common cause of why this happens. Adults are more likely to experience a pinched nerve, but several other factors could lead to this condition.
- Sports Injury
- Heavy and Intense Exercises or Weight Lifting
- Uncomfortable or bad sleeping position
- Tight hip flexors
- Car Accident
- Herniated Disc
- Age-related spine degeneration
- Bone growths that are compressing the nerves
- Sudden movements in bending or moving
Let me use myself as an example. I have two herniated discs in my neck, one is pushed in and it is pushing on my spinal cord. I’ve had multiple muscle spasms and pinched nerve moments due to sports or exercising by lifting weights.
For example, one day, very early into my injury when I didn’t know much about it and didn’t take it seriously enough, I was in the gym, doing overhead press exercises. When doing one of the reps, as I got the weight up, I felt a sudden jolt and spasm in my neck, if you don’t know how a spasm feel, my neck basically had a sudden set of twitches, like three to five twitches that happened in less than a second. I quickly set the barbell down, lucky for me I didn’t drop it on my head from shock. You can probably guess; I pinched a nerve in my neck.
As I started to relax, I quickly felt my neck tightening up, it was a mix of a swelling feeling and tightening. When I went to the doctor, I was told during the workout I had bothered the herniated disc while lifting the weight and it pushed harder onto my spinal cord, causing that shock and twitch feeling, I basically shocked the nerve during my exercise and pinched a nerve.
For a couple weeks I was not able to turn my neck, when I tried it was extremely hard and I had to turn my whole body to look to my sides. Luckily after some physical therapy and resting, my mobility returned. I had to stop my exercises and focus on stretches and resting.
This is a more intense version of a pinched nerve, each person’s situation will be different in some way, hopefully none of you have this happen to you, if you have, don’t worry, make sure you have talked to a professional first and then once you get the okay after doing the stretches, we can get started with the pinched nerve in neck exercises.
These pinched nerve in neck exercises are very similar, if not, the same as the ones you’ll do in physical therapy depending on the severity of your situation. But these are the lighter pinched nerve in neck exercises for a pinched nerve to make sure you can slowly build back up the strength, because, like it or not, you are injured or recovering from an injury, we need to start slow and work back up to normal strength. But first, if you have not, please do all the neck stretches for a pinched nerve first, then do these pinched nerve in neck exercises for best results.
I’ll have a link below to my article on stretches for a pinched nerve in the neck.
3 Amazing Pinched Nerve in Neck Exercises
DISCLAIMER: IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR SPECIALIST ABOUT YOUR PINCHED NERVE IN YOUR NECK FIRST BEFORE DOING THESE PINCHED NERVE IN NECK EXERCISES!
ALSO, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THESE LIGHT STRETCHES FIRST UNTIL THE PAIN AND STIFFNESS OF THE PINCHED NERVE IN THE NECK EASE UP!
Now, after you have done the light neck stretches for a pinched nerve and the pinched nerve symptoms has calmed down, make sure you have gained back some mobility in your neck if any had been lost by utilizing those stretches, if you see improvements after the stretches, icing and resting, now you can SLOWLY begin to do these pinched nerve in neck exercises for best results, to help strengthen the neck and prevent another pinched nerve.
For the last time, since I know I’m getting annoying, please don’t skip the stretches, they will help loosen the neck, reduce any stiffness and help with any other symptoms you are having from the pinched nerve in the neck.
Skipping this and rushing into the actual pinched nerve in neck exercises for a pinched nerve can most likely cause further injury or cause another pinched nerve to happen, so stretch first and rest until your pinched nerve symptoms get better. Then after you can slowly begin these pinched nerve in neck exercises and then these exercises should help strengthen your neck.
Now lets start doing these pinched nerve in neck exercises.
1. Towel Pull
For these pinched nerve in neck exercises, place a rolled towel around your neck and hold each end in your hands. Start by pulling on the towel, not too much but just enough to give your neck some slight resistance.
Slowly look up as far as you comfortably can, as soon as you start to feel tension, slowly stop and bring your neck back to neutral position. Don’t hold this position, just slowly stop as you begin to feel discomfort and return to neutral position, rest and start again for a new rep. Do these pinched nerve in neck exercises 10 times and remember, take your time with these pinched nerve in neck exercises. Once you have rested for 3 to 5 minutes, move on to the next pinched nerve in neck exercises.
2. Resistance Presses
For these pinched nerve in neck exercises, make sure at all times your head remains at a neutral position. Now apply pressure to your head by taking your hand and placing the center of your palm on your forehead and pushing into your forehead, just apply enough pressure for some slight resistance.
While pushing into your forehead make sure to fight the urge to move your head back, keep it in the same position, this is the workout, to keep it in the same position as your hand tries to push it back. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Do these pinched nerve neck exercises for a pinched nerve six to eight times.
Next, place your palm on the lower half of the back of your head, do the same thing. Fight to keep your head in a neutral position while pushing your palm into your head. Same as above, hold this position for 5 seconds. Do these pinched nerve in neck exercises six to eight times. Once you have rested for 3 to 5 minutes, move on to the next pinched nerve in neck exercises.
3. Shoulder Rolls and Shrugs
These are both fairly simple pinched nerve in neck exercises for a pinched nerve to do. My advice, tuck your chin in. Pretend you’re trying to hold a ball between your chin and chest or trying to touch your chin to your chest. Do not look down, look forward and try to bring your chin in as close to your chest as possible.
For the shoulder rolls exercise, while keeping your chin tucked in, lift your shoulder blades up and then rolls them back, down and then forward. That is one rep, do this six to eight times and rest. Then try these pinched nerve in neck exercises in reverse for six to eight times.
For the shrugs exercise, keep your arms and shoulders relatively straight, chin tucked in as usual. Lift your shoulders up and hold for three seconds, then back down. Do these pinched nerve in neck exercises six to eight times and then relax. Once you’ve relaxed for 3 to 5 minutes, you can move on and you finished all the pinched nerve in neck exercises.
As I said in the beginning, if you feel any pain or anything wrong at any time, please stop the neck exercises for a pinched nerve and consult your doctor about the pinched nerve in the neck. Ideally you should have spoken to a doctor first before doing any of this and then did the stretches first. This is just light pinched nerve in neck exercising you can do and are meant to stay light. Do not push yourself too far.
These are neck exercises for a pinched nerve you’ll find professionals at physical therapy have you do, same for the stretches. I’ve gone through all of these myself while having herniated discs in my neck and these are very useful for the neck and pinched nerve symptoms. All of these pinched nerve in neck exercises for a pinched nerve have helped me work my way back up to good strength. They have helped reduce pain and stiffness in my neck greatly and helped with pinched nerves and I still do all of these neck exercises for a pinched nerve to this day.