If you suffer from a pinched nerve in your upper back and are looking for ways to relieve the pain by yourself, make sure you check out my Ultimate Self Massage Guide. It details how to use a tennis ball and foam roller to get rid of your pain at home.
Pinched nerves in the upper back and neck region are common given the structure of the area. There are a lot of nerves running through this space, and with only the slightest malfunction, you can put abnormal pressure on the area and a pinched nerve may be the result. A pinched nerve in upper back will occur if there is pressure being placed on a nerve running through the area. This pressure can come from a ligament, disc, tendon, muscle or bone. Given the intricate structure of the area, with vertebrae and nerves crowding the upper back and neck, it is not surprising that this is a common complaint.
Generally a pinched nerve will come from previous trauma, bad biomechanics, posture or an injury. The pressure on the nerve will stay unless it is treated, the first thing you want to do in regards to the treatment of a pinched nerve is to reduce the inflammation in the area, and take the pressure off the nerve. Once this is achieved, you will almost always be pain free instantly.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve In Upper Back?
The first thing you need to remember is that the symptoms of a pinched nerve will not always be present in the place where the pinched nerve is occurring. Given the nature of nerves, the fact that one will innervate a lot of muscles, the pain and symptoms are often referred throughout the body. It is not uncommon for a pinched nerve in neck to produce symptoms anywhere from the shoulder, right down to the fingers.
Pain: You will feel a variety of types of pain, and different severity depending on the pressure placed on the nerve. Some people complain of a sharp pain, and some complain of a dull ache.
Muscle Weakness: You will often feel like you are lacking strength in the muscles affected. Because the nerve provides the means of contraction, you often cannot produce as much force as you may have been able to previously.
Loss Of Sensation: Pins and needles and a loss of sensation on the skin is not uncommon. This can happen right down to your fingers.
Muscle Spasms: You may also experience a varying degree of muscle and back spasms. It is extremely common as the nerve is impinged.
What Treatment Can I Do For A Pinched Nerve In The Upper Back?
Ice: The first goal of treatment is to get the inflammation in the area down. Ice the area to make sure you reduce it. 20 minutes at a time is sufficient, and you can do it every hour initially. After the pain starts to go away, just ice when you feel that the pain is returning, as a precaution.
Anti-inflammatory Medication: Similar to the ice this is taken to stop the inflammation, but it will also help with any pain you are experiencing.
Massage: Massage in the surrounding area may be of benefit if the muscles have become tight. Often you will find that a muscle is impinging the nerve, and it needs to relax to take the pressure off. Have a look at the Ultimate Self Massage guide for ways you can massage at home.
Postural Correction: Bad posture is a common cause of pinched nerve, and it is something that you need to make sure you correct. This can be done by keeping your shoulders back when sitting and standing, and in the worst case scenario you can use a posture correction brace to help you.
Exercise Program: If you have bad posture, muscle imbalances, weaknesses or tight muscles, which are all common causes of a pinched nerve, then you need to make sure that you are doing a good exercise program for rehabilitation.
Exercises For Pinched Nerve In Upper Back
Stretch and Strengthen The Upper Back: You may have tight upper back muscles, but they also may be weak. You need to do a good amount of stretches, but make sure you do a lot of strengthening exercises too. Tight upper back muscles often occur when your posture is bad, and you have rounded shoulders. This often occurs because you have weak upper back muscles, and you cannot support your shoulders. Strengthen and stretch the area to ensure good posture.
Wall Slides: This is a great exercises to do to get more mobility in the area, and will help with a pinched nerve in upper back. Here is a video explaining.
As you can see a pinched nerve in the upper back area can cause a lot of problems, but with knowledge is relatively easily treated.