A trapped nerve (also called a pinched or compressed nerve) happens when there is pressure on the nerve, which causes pain. The pressure on the nerve can originate from bones, muscles, tendons, and cartilages.
Thankfully, the body usually heals on its own but for some, the pain can last for two to three months. During that time, the pain can be very difficult to deal with which may make you wonder, can sports massage help trapped nerve?
Here we’ll answer that question while also looking at different treatment options available.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of a Trapped Nerve
When a nerve is damaged or there is inflammation in the area surrounding it, you will often experience pain. However, the pain and symptoms associated with a trapped nerve can vary for different people. Some of the most common symptom of a trapped nerve are:
- Stinging pain such as pins and needles
- Muscle soreness or weakness
- Sharp pain or burning sensation
- Tingling in the area surrounding the nerve or in the limbs around it
- Numbness and/or diminished sensation in the area surrounding the affected nerve
- Frequent ‘falling asleep’ of limbs surrounding the nerve that has been damaged
Most trapped nerves occur in the neck or shoulders, arms, upper middle back, and lower back. These trapped nerves can cause considerable pain which can almost be similar in intensity to sciatic pain.
However, if the pain crops up only in neck and shoulder it’s very likely to have been caused by a trapped nerve rather than sciatica as the latter tends to manifest itself in feet, lower back, buttocks, and knees.
If you have moderate to severe pain, then it’s important to speak to a doctor. They’ll be able to offer a proper diagnosis and ensure the pain isn’t anything more sinister than a trapped nerve. In the meantime, a sports massage can be a great idea.
How Can Sports Massage Help With A Trapped Nerve?
Sports Massage can be a highly beneficial therapy for anyone suffering from a trapped nerve. This type of massage is specifically designed to target areas of tension, helping to relax tight or strained muscles that may lead to the pinching of nerves and causing pain.
By loosening these muscles, sports massage can promote increased blood flow throughout the area, allowing the body to better heal itself and reduce any further trapping of the nerve.
Finally, this type of massage can also help provide relaxation which is important for promoting healing and can assist in reducing stress levels, improving overall wellbeing. While not the most comfortable of massage techniques, many people find the working out of tension to be highly enjoyable.
Other Ways of Getting Rid of Trapped Nerve
There are several mechanisms and therapies that can be employed for people suffering from a trapped nerve. The general purpose with most of these procedures is to help the muscles to relax so that the tension or inflammation surrounding the trapped nerve can be alleviated.
Change of Posture – In many cases, a trapped nerve is caused by poor posture while standing, sitting, or resting. These incorrect postures can result in unnecessary and unwanted pressure on nerves, muscles, and tendons which can in turn result in inflammation.
Stretching and Yoga – Stretching and yoga have been demonstrated to relieve overall muscle tension and soreness in your body. However, it is important to avoid overkill as it can become counterproductive in some cases and even exacerbate the pain you are experiencing.
Hold and Cold Heat – Applying hot and cold heat to the affected area can help ease pain in different ways. Heat can improve blood flow which will help to speed up the recovery process. Cold can numb the affected area and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Exercise – Low-intensity physical activity can improve the body’s overall flexibility and mobility which can in turn help the symptoms of a trapped nerve. Physical activity can also help improve your body’s overall well-being and capacity to deal with muscle and/or nerve damage.
Painkillers – Painkillers can provide relief and help reduce the pain and inflammation. Usually over-the-counter medication is enough to cope with the pain. If not, then it’s best that you speak with a doctor.
Chiropractic Treatment – The treatment is focused on realignment of the central nervous system which is important to the overall strength of your body. Trained chiropractors can help isolate the nerve pain and use various techniques to mitigate it.
What kind of massage is good for a pinched nerve?
Massage therapy can help with a trapped nerve as these issues are usually due the pressure on the muscles that surround the nerve. Massages, such as sports massage, can help relieve the stiffness and/or inflammation. Although there might be soreness or numbness following the massage therapy, the target muscle group will soon repair itself.
Where do you massage a trapped nerve?
It is a good idea to start massaging with your hands, arms, neck, shoulder blades, and back. A face and head massage can also help relieve pain in the muscles as neck and shoulders are very often where a trapped nerve occurs. However, it’s best to leave the massage therapy in the hands of a professional.
What should you not do with a trapped nerve?
With a trapped nerve, you should avoid putting additional stress on the nerve. This means that it is a good idea to avoid high intensity exercises, workouts, sports, and outdoor activities. Any activity that can cause sudden stress to the trapped nerve should be avoided as these can make the trapped nerve much worse.
You can get a trapped nerve when there is pressure applied on it by either a damaged nerve or surrounding inflammation. Sports massages can help you in soothing muscle tension, stiffness, and inflammation which can alleviate the pain and help your muscles repair themselves.
Painkilling medications can also help relieve your symptoms while your body recovers and the muscles repair themselves. However, it is important to discuss your condition with a doctor to rule out any other causes of your pain.