3 Facts about Physiotherapy for Pinched Neck Nerves

Have you ever woken up with a painful neck or muscle tightness that limits the range of motion of the neck? If so, then you might have suffered from a minor case of what is termed as the pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy. However, a pinched nerve could be severe than just slight pain in your neck as it may indicate an underlying injury to structures near the nerves. A pinched neck nerve can lead to severe problems such as changes in reflexes, muscle spasms, and arm pain. You need to consult a physiotherapist to get a systematic assessment of the situation. Here are some facts about physiotherapy for pinched neck nerves.

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve -- The symptoms of a pinched nerve vary depending on the type of nerve affected. However, typical symptoms include muscle weakness, mild numbness and pain in the shoulder, wrist, biceps, thumb, and middle finger, general muscles spasms, and twitching. See a specialist if you notice such symptoms.

Diagnosis of Pinched Nerve -- For pain to be interpreted by the brain, a signal must travel from the affected nerve to the brain through the spinal cord. When you check into a physiotherapist's office, you will describe symptoms that will help the professional to find out the pinched nerve. However, if the magnitude of pain is severe and your neck's range of motion is hampered, the physiotherapist might ask you to take a battery of tests, including CT scan, X-ray, and MRI. Also, the severity of the condition can be detected through a nerve conduction study (NCS). It is only after such tests that a doctor can give an accurate diagnosis. The stiffness of the neck can also reduce mobility while some individuals might feel a tingling sensation akin to multiple needles poking their neck. Other signs include headaches and dizziness.

Muscle Exercises -- A treatment protocol might entail stretching and strengthening exercises. The exercises are meant to optimise muscular functioning by helping the pinched nerve to recover from the injury. Furthermore, neck stabilisation exercises can relieve pain and restore the normal range of motion of the neck. Apart from practices, a physiotherapist can use the physiotherapy instrument mobilisation. The technique has been reported to be effective than thumb manipulation as it targets the injured nerve with ease. The spring-loaded tool used to apply pressure to the affected area is also safer compared to manual therapy. Soft tissue massage and acupuncture techniques can also be applied to offer relief and improve the healing process.