A pinched nerve is more than a minor nuisance. Depending on where it's located, it may cause debilitating pain that restricts you from performing physical activities. The lack of exercise with which it's associated may then lead to other problems, such as restricted blood flow. Nonetheless, millions of Americans suffer from a pinched nerve in any given year. If you're among this group, there are a few things you should know to find relief and regain your physical mobility.
Take It Easy
You should refrain from any and all forms of strenuous exercise until your pinched nerve has subsided. While initially painful, most cases of pinched nerve will heal on their own -- but only if you give your body ample to repair itself. If you lift weights, run a marathon or perform other strenuous physical activities, your body won't have the opportunity to heal the pinched nerve. As a result, your symptoms may worsen and remain present for a longer period.
Manage Your Weight
If you're currently overweight, you should make the appropriate lifestyle changes immediately to manage your weight. Not surprisingly, obesity is a major risk factor for pinched nerves. People who are overweight are more likely to develop a pinched nerve than their counterparts due to the increased pressure on and around their nerves.
Limit Repetitive Tasks
Another tip that can help you can recover from a pinched nerve more quickly is to limit or avoid performing repetitive tasks. Even if a particular task isn't strenuous, it may worsen your condition if you perform it too many times. Repetitive tasks, such as constantly bending to lift an otherwise lightweight object, will stress your back and neck. And since pinched nerves typically occur in the back or neck, it may worsen your condition.
Improve Your Posture
Bad posture can prolong the symptoms of a pinched nerve. Conversely, good posture can help you recover from a pinched nerve more quickly. Whether you're sitting or standing, maintain good posture by keeping your spinal column aligned with the rest of your body.
See a Massage Therapist
Need another reason to get a massage? Well, aside from feeling rested and refreshed, a massage can help ease the pain and other adverse symptoms of a pinched nerve. Massage therapists are trained to relieve pressure on pinched nerves. Just tell your massage therapist where the pinched nerve is causing you pain, at which point he or she can manipulate the surrounding tissue.