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What Does A Physical Therapist Do For Pinched Nerve In Neck?

What Does A Physical Therapist Do For Pinched Nerve In Neck?

When treating a pinched nerve in the neck (cervical radiculopathy), a physical therapist aims to reduce pain, inflammation, and pressure on the affected nerve while improving mobility, strength, and function.

What a physical therapist may do to address a pinched nerve in the neck…

  1. Assessment and Evaluation – The physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the cause and severity of the pinched nerve. They will assess your range of motion, strength, reflexes, and sensation to identify the affected nerve and the extent of nerve compression.
  2. Pain Management – The therapist may use various modalities like heat or ice therapy, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound to help manage pain, reduce inflammation, and alleviate muscle spasms.
  3. Manual Therapy – Gentle hands-on techniques may mobilize and stretch the neck and surrounding structures. This can help improve joint mobility, release muscle tension, and relieve pressure on the affected nerve.
  4. Therapeutic Exercises – The physical therapist will design a specific exercise program to address the pinched nerve. These exercises may improve posture, increase neck and shoulder strength, and promote flexibility. Strengthening the supporting muscles can help stabilize the spine and reduce stress on the affected nerve.
  5. Cervical Traction – In some cases, cervical traction may create space between the vertebrae, reducing pressure on the pinched nerve.
  6. Posture Education – The physical therapist will educate you on proper posture and body mechanics to avoid activities or positions that may exacerbate the pinched nerve.
  7. Nerve Gliding Exercises – These exercises involve gentle neck and upper extremities movements to help mobilize and free the affected nerve from any adhesions or entrapments.
  8. Activity Modification – The therapist may recommend modifying certain activities or movements that worsen the symptoms to prevent further nerve irritation.
  9. Home Exercise Program – The physical therapist will provide a customized home exercise program to continue your rehabilitation outside the clinic and promote long-term recovery.
  10. Patient Education – Understanding the condition and how to manage it is essential. The therapist will educate you about cervical radiculopathy, lifestyle modifications, and strategies to prevent future occurrences.
  11. Progress Tracking – Throughout the treatment, the physical therapist will monitor your progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

Follow the physical therapist’s recommendations and be consistent with the prescribed exercises and lifestyle modifications to achieve the best results in relieving symptoms and promoting the healing of the pinched nerve in the neck.