Have you ever woken up with your head tilted to one side and then try straightening your neck back up? Did you find that your neck felt stiff and possibly have some pain? If you have felt pain going to the side which your head was bent towards, you may have experienced a pinched nerve. This temporary feeling can subside with some gentle range of motion neck exercises. You’ll want to be sure that the sharp pain in your neck does not go down your arm.
Some of the neck exercises that you can do are listed and described in these posts:
Alphabet Neck Exercises
Figure 8 Neck Exercises
Head Wobble Up Neck Exercises
Head Tilt Neck Exercises
Sitting Head Rotation Neck Exercises
The head tilt neck exercises are good to relieve the compression off of the pinched nerve. You’ll want to be gentle so that you can take off the pressure and allow the cervical spine to open up to allow the nerve to be relieved. This is a good starting point as well as to put some heat on the same side to loosen the neck muscles.
When your head is tilted to one side for long periods of time such as sleeping, you temporary put pressure on the neck spinal nerve. This nerve compression usually resolves with minimal damage. But when you have a pinched nerve and you experience pain for more than a few days without improvement in your neck range of motion you’ll want to be sure to be checked out by a professional. In the meantime, you’ll want to be sure you avoid aggressive neck exercises or movements in general to avoid causing more pain.
One treatment that can help a pinched nerve is cervical traction. This can be done sitting or lying down. A trained physical therapist can provide relieve with this manually and being able to increase your neck range of motion as well as decrease the pain. When successful treatments are done manually and the symptoms persist, mechanical traction is another option that is provided in physical therapy. This treatment is effective to relieve the pressure of the nerve and should be followed up with neck exercises.
The mechanical traction may not always be covered with your health insurance and you’ll want to be sure before this treatment covered before it is provided to you. Many insurance companies will pay but you’ll want to make sure when you have an appointment.