Pinched neck nerve: Self-care measures

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A pinched neck nerve occurs if the nerves are injured in some manner. It is important to note that the injury can be minor such as sleeping in the wrong position or compression stemming from degenerative disc disease or other serious conditions.

Individuals with a pinched neck nerve might feel pain along the path of the nerve and down one or both arms. Numbness and tingling are also indications of the injury. During the initial phases, self-care measures are enough to manage the injury. If there is persistent or debilitating pain, it requires physical therapy or even surgery.

pinched neck nerve
Over-the-counter medications can be given to lessen the inflammation and provide relief to the pain in the arms and neck.

Measures to manage a pinched neck nerve

Adequate rest

Generally, rest is recommended as the main measure used in managing a pinched neck nerve. Certain activities in the daily routine can worsen the discomfort in the neck or arms.

It is vital to rest from these activities to enable the irritation of the nerve to settle. Some individuals might notice a lasting reduction to the pain after a few days of limiting activities.


Over-the-counter medications can be given to lessen the inflammation and provide relief to the pain in the arms and neck. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen are commonly used. The medications should be only used as instructed to prevent potential complications such as irritation of the stomach.


The pain from a pinched neck nerve might respond to either the application of cold or heat. The inflammation and swelling might lessen if a cold pack is applied on the sore area.

As for heat therapy, it promotes the relaxation of the neck muscles since tension in the neck can add up to the pain. Take note that cold or warm compresses can provide momentary relief in some individuals but not all can feel the benefits.

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