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I have been suffering from a pinched nerve for about a month now, and I am ready to find any home remedies and treatments to get some pain relief and solve the problem at the source.
Guys, getting a pinched nerve is MISERABLE!
My neck is always tight and sore and I wake up in constant pain from badly made pillows. This is not a cute way to live.
So I decided to take you on this journey with me while I find and try different pinched nerve exercise treatments for pain relief, various pillows suited for a pinched nerve, and various ways to improve my posture to help speed up the healing process and get this pain out for good.
Week 1 Progress & Notes
My first order of business was to hop onto google and find immediate relief.
And I stumbled upon two exercises that looked really promising. After trying them for a few days, I did notice my neck pain beginning to “temporarily” subside.
One of my favorites were actually from a chiropractor duo Bob and Brad who had a ton of helpful quick exercises for pinched nerve pain.
It certainly was a start.
Then I did more research.
I wanted to really understand why I was experiencing a pinched nerve to begin with. What contributed to it and how could I avoid it from happening again?
To my surprise, one of the biggest culprits turns out to be bad posture, a lot of which came from sitting at my desk.
Posture is everything
Yup, who knew that years of sitting in a chair hunched over a computer would end up with me suddenly feeling like a helpless sack of potatoes.
In fact, there is a word for this kind of “workplace injury”, called repetitive strain injury or RSI, where repetitive use of your limbs can produce damaged muscle tendons and nerves.
Sitting in my office chair, day in and day out, did no favors for my posture. I found myself constantly slouching with keyboard and mouse at an angle that was actually straining my back and neck muscles. After this brief investigation into my current posture, I felt like it was all starting to make sense to me. In fact, it was only a matter of time until I got a pinched nerve.
What is the Proper Sitting Posture?
In order to course correct, I needed to fix my posture and make sure my work desk met the ergonomic requirements to ensure good posture. I ended up moving my keyboard and mouse to a slightly lower area of my desk (my desk has a pull out keyboard holder I had previously poo-pooed but now thanked god I had), readjusted the height of my chair, and added a small rolled up towel to the back of my chair for added support.
Gsolutions.com has this awesome infographic that shows you exactly what to look for and how to obtain the correct ergonomic position for good posture.
WEEK 2 UDPATE
If there is one thing I have learned from this whole pinched nerve experience, it’s all about your shoulder and back strength. Without a strong core, your back and shoulders will continue to be misaligned, which causes more pinched nerve issues, which then exacerbates your posture. It’s a vicious ugly cycle!
…and the one form of exercise I could actually do without wanting to kill myself was yoga.
The Healing Power of Yoga
Yes, yoga really helped me relieve pain from my pinched nerve as well as slowly correct my poor posture so as to prevent future pinched nerve problems. When trying to heal a pinched nerve, I tried to focus on yoga exercises that focused on neck and back, which were the main throbbing culprits I needed to address.
It was painful at first, and I took it slow and steady, but I still did the exercises as best I could. After every session, I started feeling the muscles loosen up and the throbbing pain in my neck slowly subside.
Foam Rolling the Pinched Nerve Away
Ah foam rolling. It’s not just meant for muscle heads who bench pressed 250lbs. It’s also for delicate bags of pain like me who seriously need a targeted pressurized messager for neck pain.
I bought a foam roll to relieve pinched nerve pain every day for 2 weeks, following a set of exercises from two really helpful video demos. Not only does foam rolling help work out kinks in your shoulder and back, but it helps to stretch out your back and spine so you can maintain great posture.
Posture Apps for Pinched Nerves
Then, I explored the use of posture reminders for when I work behind my desk during the day. I found several apps that helped bring awareness to my seated posture as well as remind me to straighten back up to avoid future pinched nerve pain.
- Stand Up Work Break Timer: This is a timer app that reminds you to get up, stretch, and just not sit at your desk for hours at a time. I found this app really helpful, since I often lose track of time and would find myself having sat at my desk for hours at a time. Getting up and readjusting is amazing for your posture. Plus, it’s an excuse to get some well-deserved snacks 🙂
- Posture Reminder: This app is very very simple in nature. It basically sends you auto-reminders in the form of phone notifications to check your posture. I believe I had it set to once an hour. Although simple in concept, I do like getting the reminder to check on my posture and ensure I am sitting correctly.
Pillows for Pinched Nerves
One thing I finally figured out night after night was how sore my neck was when I woke up the next morning. Considering my neck and back felt like they were being folded like pretzels, I decided it was time to update my pillow and see how it helped heal that pinched nerve.
I discovered a fantastic pillow that really helped me to sleep the entire night without waking up in deep pain all the time. I found a buckwheat pillow that adjusts to my sleeping positions (back or side sleeping) and helps keep my entire head aligned with my body, so I don’t wake up misaligned and in pain.
So, what’s the prognosis?
After consistently following my yoga routine, ensuring my posture was good, and using the right kind of pillow for sleeping, my pinched nerve slowly began to fade away until 3 weeks later, it finally subsided.
I felt like a free woman…a much WISER, jaded free woman who feels better prepared for muscle spasms and literal pains-in-the-neck.
If you happen to find yourself in a similar predicament, I encourage you to explore what works for you, try different things, and most importantly to NEVER give up! You deserve to feel your very best, so invest in yourself and live your best life!
Have you ever suffered from a pinched nerve? What tactics did you use to find relief?