What Are the Treatments for a Pinched Nerve Between the Shoulder Blades?

Multiple nerves exit the neck and tract through the upper body. Some nerves travel between the shoulder blades to sense sensation or control muscle movements. At times, these nerves may be pinched either by bone or by tense muscles. This condition is termed peripheral neuropathy, and may cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness between the shoulder blades. A patient with a pinched nerve between the shoulder blades should schedule an appointment to seek the proper treatment.

Pain relievers can treat symptoms of a pinched nerve. (Image: Crazybboy/iStock/Getty Images)

Pain Relievers

According to MedlinePlus, a patient may be prescribe pain relievers to treat a pinched nerve between the shoulder blades. Specifically, anticonvulsants, tricyclic antidepressants or other medications may be prescribed that can reduce numbness, pain and tingling between the shoulder blades. These medications commonly cause drowsiness and dizziness; therefore, the lowest effective dose should be used to treat these symptoms.

Occupational Therapy

MedlinePlus states that occupational therapy may be recommended to treat a pinched nerve between the shoulder blades. During occupational therapy, a therapist will teach the patient exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades. Furthermore, a therapist may include modalities, such as ice therapy, heat therapy, massage and ultrasound, to relieve symptoms. A therapist will also give a patient a home exercise program that the patient should adhere to in order to prevent further symptoms from occurring.

Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation

According to MayoClinic.com, a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, or TENS, may be a recommended therapy to treat a pinched nerve between the shoulder blades. With this type of therapy, electrodes will be placed over the muscles between the shoulder blades. Then, the electrodes will be connected to a small machine that sends a small electrical current to the electrodes. When done frequently, patients will likely experience relief of numbness, tingling and pain caused by the pinched nerve. If this therapy is ineffective, a patient should schedule an appointment with his doctor to discuss other treatment options.

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