Do you ever find yourself rubbing out a sore shoulder after working on your computer for several hours? Or having random shooting pains or tingling in your arms throughout the day? It's possible that you have a pinched nerve.
These nerves start in your neck then split into multiple branches as they enter your shoulder and run down your arm. Poor posture, weak muscles and even stress can contribute to pinched nerves. Exercises can improve posture and strengthen weak muscles to relieve pressure on pinched nerves.
Slouching may increase pressure on nerves running from your neck into your shoulders. This type of posture causes muscles across front of your shoulders -- the pectoralis muscles -- to become tight. The corner stretch decreases tightness in these muscles, reducing pressure on nerves and allowing you to sit up straighter.
Stand facing a corner. Stagger your feet slightly to improve your balance.
Bend your elbows and raise your arms to shoulder-height. Place one forearm on each wall.
Slowly lean your body in toward the corner until you feel a strong pulling sensation along the front of your chest. Do not stretch to the point of pain.
Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Rows strengthen muscles between your shoulder blades that help you maintain proper upright posture. With correct posture, pressure on pinched nerves decreases.
Secure the middle of an elastic band to a doorknob or in a door hinge around waist height.
Facing the door, hold one end of the band in each hand. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing your elbows straight back as far as you can. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then return to the starting position.
Repeat 10 times, working up to three sets in a row.
Perform wall angels anywhere you have access to a wall. This exercise increases strength of the muscles between your shoulder blades to reduce nerve pinching.
Stand up straight with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart.
Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and raise your arms to shoulder-height.
Place the back of your elbows, forearms and wrists against the wall. Do not allow your back to come away from the wall.
Slowly slide your arms up the wall several inches, then back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, working up to three sets in a row.
Scap squeezes are short for "scapular squeezes." This exercise trains your shoulder blade muscles to hold your spine straight, decreasing pressure on pinched nerves.
Stand up straight with your arms relaxed by your sides.
Pull your chin back and in. Maintain this position throughout the exercise.
Pull your shoulder blades back and down in the direction of your pant's back pockets. Do not allow your shoulders to shrug up.
Hold this position for 3 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times, working up to three sets.
- Physician's Diagnostics and Rehabilitation: Cervical Spine Stretches
- Journal of Physical Therapy Science: Exercise Training for Non-Operative and Post-Operative Patient with Cervical Radiculopathy: A Literature Review
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve)
- American University: Ergonomics Postural Strengthening Exercises