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Exercise to Release Pinched Nerves

author image Chekwube Ndubisi
Chekwube Ndubisi has been writing professionally since 2008. She is a medical writer and avid health enthusiast writing for BioPlan Associates and The American College of Ob/Gyn. Ndubisi has doctoral degree in pathobiology and molecular medicine and a Master of Science in cellular and molecular biology.
Exercise to Release Pinched Nerves
A woman stretches during an exercise class. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve is compressed or squeezed by a herniated disc in the spinal cord, a ligament, muscle or cartilage. This pressure causes damage or inflammation to the nerve, resulting in pain, muscle weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation. Stretching and extension exercises are often recommended to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the affected area. This relieves the pressure on the nerve, reduces the pain and discomfort and returns the nerve function.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling and swimming are recommended for reducing the pain and discomfort associated with a pinched nerve, according to OurHealthNetwork.com. Aerobic exercise increases your blood circulation and delivers oxygen and nutrients to the damaged nerve, which facilitates healing. Aerobic exercise is also important in maintaining the flexibility and strength of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the pinched nerve. The surrounding tissue needs to be toned and conditioned to help with blood circulation and nutrient delivery to the pinched nerve. Additionally, aerobic exercises stretch and strengthen the surrounding tissue and muscle, relieving the pressure on the pinched nerve.

Side Bend

A pinched nerve can occur in the lower back as a result of a herniated disc, slipped disc or muscles compressing on a nerve root. A side bend is an extension exercise that will help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with a pinched nerve. To perform this exercise, stand on a hard surface, ensuring that your back and spinal cord are straight. Place both hands on your hips. Stretch your lower back by leaning slowly to both sides of your body. Repeat this exercise five times, ensuring that you work both sides of your body.

Shoulder Shrugs

Cervical radiculopathy is classified as a pinched nerve in spinal cord, however, the pain radiates from the back and is felt in the shoulders, arms and hands, notes Ourhealthnetwork.com. The pain might be dull or sharp and burning. Shoulder shrugs can stretch the surrounding muscles and reduce the pain and discomfort. To perform this exercise, stand straight and place both arms by your side. Begin to shrug your shoulders toward your neck and move them backward through a rotating motion. Repeat this exercise 15 times. While shrugging your shoulders, alternate between forward and backward rotations.

Chin Extension

To perform this exercise, sit on a bench or chair and lock your fingers behind your head. Lower your chin toward your chest and at the same time, rotate your chin to the left and right. As you rotate your chin toward your chest, hold the stretch for 15 seconds when you can no longer extend you chin downward. Repeat this exercise five times.

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