If a nerve in your neck becomes compressed, it can result in pain, discomfort, numbness and muscle weakness among various other ailments.
As you seek treatment for a pinched nerve, it's important to better understand the cause. For example, this may be related to the heavy loads that you lift at work every day of the week.
While surgery is necessary at times, your medical team will first want to experiment with a variety of nonsurgical options. These include:
- Physical therapy: There are exercises to strengthen neck muscles, reduce pain and improve your range of motion.
- Cervical collar: By holding your neck in place, you give your muscles time to relax and heal. This can also decrease the amount of compression of nerve roots, thus eliminating pain.
- Medication: Some medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, can provide relief caused by inflammation.
- Steroid injection: While this doesn't lessen the pressure on the nerve, it can relieve pain and reduce swelling. This often gives your nerve enough time to recover.
Some people only need one type of treatment to find relief, while others require a combination. Furthermore, if nonsurgical treatment doesn't work, your doctor may want to discuss surgery.
If your pinched nerve is related to your job, discuss this with your doctor. They may suggest that you take time away from work, as this gives your body time to make a full recovery.
This should lead you to file a workers' compensation claim, as you may be entitled to financial benefits as you recover. It's possible that your employer may fight back, but don't give in until you receive the money you deserve.