If you suspect a pinched nerve, perhaps as the result of overexertion at work, you shouldn’t wait to receive a medical diagnosis. Your doctor can conduct a variety of tests to determine if you have a pinched nerve, or are suffering from another condition.
Not only can a pinched nerve cause pain and discomfort in your neck and back, but it can also do the same in your fingers, wrist, hand and elbow.
Fortunately, there are several types of treatment that have been proven successful, with the most common as follows:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These include medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, all of which can reduce swelling.
- Steroid injection: This is helpful in giving your injured nerve time to heal.
- Physical therapy: The primary benefit of therapy is the ability to strengthen back and neck muscles, which can speed up healing and prevent future injury.
- Soft collar: The purpose of this is to limit motion, giving your muscles time to rest and your nerve time to heal.
- Surgery: If you don’t respond to any other form of treatment, surgery may be necessary. Discuss the risks and rewards of surgery with your doctor, as this isn’t something to take lightly.
If your pinched nerve is directly associated with your job, report your injury to your employer and share insight into your treatment strategy.
Your medical team may suggest time away from work, as rest is a necessary component in making a full recovery. In this situation, you should immediately file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Receiving compensation will clear your mind, allowing you to focus all your energy on your health.