What Causes a Pinched Nerve and Can Physio Help?

by Jul 14, 2023Health and Wellness, Physiotherapy, Treatment

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What is a Pinched Nerve and What Can I Do About it?

The human body has millions of nerves that pass through bones, muscles, and tissues, ultimately reaching their final destination. If nerves get too close to any of these structures, it results in compression, which causes pain. Pinched nerves can cause numbness, reduced sensation, sharp, aching, or burning pain, paresthesia (tingling, pins and needles sensation), weakness of muscles in the affected area, and a constant feeling of hand or foot “fallen asleep.”

Physiotherapy is the most common treatment for pinched nerves. Before starting physiotherapy, a physiotherapist evaluates the patient’s medical history, tests reflexes, loss of sensation, weakness of muscles, and movements that alleviate or induce symptoms. If necessary, the therapist will refer the patient to a doctor and may order an MRI or CT scan to check for signs of soft tissue interference or bone spurs.

The goal of physiotherapy treatment for pinched nerves depends on the severity of the injury. Physiotherapy aims to boost strength, improve flexibility, correct body posture, and minimize clinical symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling. Physiotherapy exercises help treat a pinched nerve and aid in strengthening specific muscle groups. Posture education helps patients suffering from compressed nerves correct posture imbalances. Range of motion exercises increase the patient’s range of motion, while traction training effectively helps relieve painful symptoms of a pinched nerve by decompressing the body and removing the pressure from the affected area. Physical manipulation exercises ease muscle tension, potentially leading to inflammation.

back pain, sciatica, physiotherapy

How Physiotherapy Can Help

Compared to other treatments, such as medications and surgery, physiotherapy is a more natural treatment approach with fewer risks. Physiotherapy is safe for patients of all ages and does not carry adverse side effects, such as overdose, dependence, or infection. Over the years, physiotherapy has been the gold standard for pinched nerve treatment due to how it works to treat and prevent the problem in various ways.

Physiotherapy is a natural and conservative treatment approach that aims to minimize clinical symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling caused by a pinched nerve. It is a safe and effective method that helps patients of all ages recover from nerve compression without resorting to surgery or medications.

Here are some of the techniques used in physiotherapy to treat a pinched nerve:

  1. Muscle Strengthening: Physiotherapy exercises help to strengthen specific muscle groups to aid in treating a pinched nerve. Weak muscles can cause poor posture, which can add extra pressure to the spinal area, making you more prone to a pinched nerve in the lower back. By strengthening the muscles, patients can support their spine, reducing the risk of nerve compression.
  2. Posture Education: During a physiotherapy session, the therapist will also discuss potential problems with your body posture that may have contributed to the pinched nerve. Posture education helps patients suffering from compressed nerves to correct posture imbalances. Patients will learn about different tools and techniques to self-correct posture issues that strain-specific nerves.
  3. Range of Motion Exercises: The physiotherapist will guide you in performing certain exercises and stretches that will increase your range of motion. Range of motion exercises can help patients move freely without straining their spinal nerves, thus reducing the risk of nerve compression.
  4. Traction Training: Traction is another physiotherapy technique that utilizes weights, pulleys, or harnesses to help target and stretch specific muscle groups. It effectively helps relieve painful symptoms of a pinched nerve by decompressing the body and removing the pressure from the affected area.
  5. Physical Manipulation: Physiotherapists are trained to manipulate the body to target specific groups of muscle physically. Manipulation exercises are designed to ease muscle tension, potentially leading to inflammation, and relieve the symptoms of a pinched nerve.

In summary, physiotherapy is an excellent method to treat and prevent pinched nerves. It helps patients recover naturally and safely from nerve compression without resorting to more invasive procedures or medications. By utilizing techniques like muscle strengthening, posture education, range of motion exercises, traction training, and physical manipulation, physiotherapists can provide patients with an effective and personalized treatment plan to help them recover from nerve compression.

Get the help you need

If you are living with a pinched nerve, seeking the expertise of a physiotherapist can be transformative for your well-being. Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy in Port Coquitlam offers comprehensive care that includes tailored exercise programs, manual therapy techniques, education, and ongoing support. By working closely with a physiotherapist, you can improve your mobility, reduce pain, and regain control over your life. Don’t let a pinched nerve limit your potential—take the first step towards a better quality of life by consulting a physiotherapist today.

Remember, a pinched nerve is a complex condition, and the information provided in this article is intended for general purposes only. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Take charge of your health and embrace the remarkable benefits of physiotherapy for a pinched nerve.

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