What is a trapped nerve?

A trapped nerve occurs when a nerve is damaged in some way and unable to fully send its signals. It is caused when a nerve gets compressed, which can be due to a herniated disc, arthritis, or bone spurs.

You can also get a trapped nerve from other situations and activities such as injury, poor posture, repetitive motions, sports, hobbies, and obesity.


Trapped nerves can occur all over the body, although they are most common in the spine, neck, wrists, and elbows.

These conditions cause inflammation, which constricts your nerves and causes them to become trapped.

Poor nutrition and general health can worsen a trapped nerve.

Causes of trapped nerve:

This condition can be reversible or irreversible, depending on the severity of the case. The possible causes of a trapped nerve are as follows.

Weight gain or water retention

These can predispose people to developing trapped nerve; thyroid disease (especially hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels) can contribute to both water retention and weight gain and can increase the risk of certain types of trapped nerve.


This is associated with increased weight and occasionally associated Pressure on a peripheral nerve can irritate the nerve itself, its protective covering (myelin sheath), or both.

When this occurs, the nerve is unable to conduct sensory impulses to the brain appropriately, leading to a sense of numbness.

This inflammation associated with the damage or injury can also cause pain or paresthesia (a tingling or prickling sensation) signals to be sent to the brain. In its early stages, many people may describe this sensation as a body part that has “fallen asleep.”

However, if nerve inflammation persists, this sensation continues rather than resolving after a few minutes.

exercises for trapped nerve_2How to solve it?

If the nerve is compressed for a short amount of time, it is often able to repair itself but it may take several weeks or months for the symptoms to fully resolve.

However, if the compression remains present for a long time, permanent. The most common symptom of trapped nerve is a tingling sensation, which can be accompanied by some numbness.

This may initially come and go, but over time becomes persistent.

Pain may accompany the tingling sensation and is often described as being “sharp” or “electrical.” Some patients experience a burning sensation in the affected area.

In severe cases, muscle weakness may occur because the nerve that controls the muscle has been irritated. If present and not identified and corrected, those muscles may decrease in size and function.

Common areas where nerve get trapped:

– Ulnar nerve at the elbow
– Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve
– Common peroneal nerve injury
– Sciatic nerve
– Cervical spine (A pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain or tingling to travel into the arm or shoulder blade region.) etc….

exercises for trapped nerve_3Treatment of trapped nerve:

– Stop activities that might put pressure on the affected area and rest.
– Give the symptoms time to subside. Don’t rush back to training or competition.
– Use moist heat for 15-20 minutes, three to four times a day.
– Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen may relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Exercise for trapped nerve:

You can rest your trapped nerve and still keep your blood pumping. Good blood and oxygen circulation and toned muscles can actually help heal the trapped nerve.

Daily activity should be done conservatively and only when it is comfortable for you.

Try going swimming or for walks. These will help to move your muscles naturally while placing a minimal amount of stress on the joints and tendons where the trapped nerve is.

Experts agree that low impact and non-strenuous exercises are the safest.
Stretching is by far the safest way to go when it comes to exercises rest, ice and medication were appropriate for the initial stages.

Depends on site and condition of trapped nerve these exercises can be helpful:

– Side bends
– Twist
– Hamstring stretch
– Chin extension
– Shoulder shrugs
– Bench press with stick
– Aerobic exercise
– Pilates
– Yoga
– Hydrotherapy exercises

If you’re still having problems and no method has worked, you might consider seeing a physical therapist. He can give you specialized stretches and exercises that aid in healing a trapped nerve.

As time goes on, your physical therapist may give you additional exercises that can be done alone also.

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