Can a Massage Help a Pinched Nerve

6 min read
Updated: 22.06.2022

You feel numb along your right shoulder blade, and pain radiates outwards, spreading to nearby muscles.

The pain is burning, and you don’t know what to do. You may have a pinched nerve but can a massage help a pinched nerve.

The answer is a definitive yes; massage can undoubtedly help pinched nerves. It’s the natural reaction of the human body.

When it encounters pressure or any other outside force, the defense mechanism gets this force as a stimulus and tries to concentrate the affected area by sending all extra blood through the vessels. 

And if one area of our body gets more blood, it will heal quicker than usual, or at least the pain will be less disruptive in the short term.

What is a Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves, also called neuromas, occur when surrounding tissues, bone structures, muscles, or tendons lose their natural position/shape and put abnormal pressure on a nearby nerve.

Pinched Nerve and Pain

The reactions against a pinched nerve, mostly numbness and tingling, could be in the nearby area or any other (mostly irrelevant) parts of your body. 

For example, a herniated disc in your lower back can affect your lower back directly. On the contrary, it may cause pain and weakness in your spine, legs, or toes.

A pinched nerve may result in,

  • Herniated Disc in your lower spine or your neck, 
  • Carpal Tunnel in your wrists,
  • Neuropathy in your feet and ankles,

A pinched nerve starts showing its problem with numbness and a tingling sensation. Initially, these sensations are felt on the very nerve itself. 

Then, the intensity and size of the affected area expand, and sharp -stabbing-like pain- shows up. 

Any affected portion of your body that crosses the sharp pain border will feel a burning sensation.

What Causes Pinched Nerve

Our bodies are fragile and open to depreciation. Repetitive actions, unnatural movements, aging, and too little or too much activity can cause a pinched nerve. 

Here are the primary reasons for pinched nerve:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Accidents
  • Arthritis
  • Illness like Gout
  • Neuropathy
  • Professions that require Repetitive Actions and Physical Labor
  • Lack of Movement
  • Using Technological Devices Long Hours
  • Shoes
  • Unnatural Posture Shapes – Sitting Long Hours
  • Obesity
  • Age Deformations

What Kind of Massage is Good for Pinched Nerve

As we mentioned above, any external pressure focused on the right spot can help for sudden relief and faster healing. 

But, you can best treat a pinched nerve with a deep tissue massage.

Finger Pressure

A deep tissue massage directly targets the source of the problem. It reduces inflammation in the nerve and surrounding area, quickly alleviating any pain. 

Besides, you can add extra steps to your deep tissue massage to increase the effectiveness, such as stretching, hot or cold press, relaxing creams, odors, and even music.

Honestly, any relaxing exterior stimuli, even a full-body massage, can have enough positive impact if a professional applies. 

The secret is to stretch out a particular muscle group or the area affected by the pinched nerve and give a chance for our body to recover. 

Still, be aware that a deep tissue massage could be a little forceful, and there may be slight bruising afterward, which is what we are looking for to get rid of the pain.

Can You Use a Massage Gun for Pinched Nerve

A massage gun is a portable, cost-effective, and cheap way of treating a pinched nerve. Professional massage sessions can cost $60 an hour on average. 

You can easily get a massage gun with 2/3 personal massage therapy session prices.

With this in mind, a massage gun should be on your wish list if you suffer from pinched nerves, vertigo, or any other sort of inflammation regularly.

Can You Use a Massage Chair for Pinched Nerve

A massage chair tech has become a favorite way of treating a pinched nerve. You won’t pay any extra for costly massage or chiro sessions outside when you have one in your home

The concept is pretty straightforward. Just 

  • let the chair scan your body, 
  • set up your chair positioning, duration, massage intensity, and body target area,
  • then sit there and press start.

Pinched nerves commonly concentrate in your spine and surrounding area. If you purchase a Zero Gravity SL Track massage chair, it eliminates the gravitational impact and explicitly targets your spinal cord track.

Massage chairs are one the most convenient ways to treat a pinched nerve, and the price could go from $500 to $16,000. So, there is absolutely a perfect catch for your budget and expectations. 

Is Chiropractic or a Massage Better for Pinched Nerves

Chiro vs Massage for Pinched Nerve

Chiropractors work predominantly with the bones but oftentimes it is the bone itself that is causing the pinched nerve.

Massage is more comprehensive and focuses on bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. So, in general, we can say massage therapy is better for a pinched nerve.

Even though both are effective when done professionally, any bending or extra pushing of the bone may cause greater pain. 

This is because a pinched nerve has a greater force exerted upon it. 

Chiropractic treatment is best for stiffness and preventive treatment of pinched nerves.

As a result, you should use it only after the massage, medications, or surgical operations have treated the pinched nerve first.

Home Remedies for Pinched Nerve

Massages are the number one way to treat a pinched nerve, but there are many preventive and facilitator treatments exist:

Just remember, you should perform all of the home remedies mentioned above in conjunction with regular massage. They can’t be the single answer to your problems. 

The potential of re-injuring yourself will be greater if you don’t change your lifestyle.

Can Massaging a Pinched Nerve Make it Worse

Massaging can make a pinched nerve worse, but only if done improperly. Unsuitable devices or unprofessional therapists increase the severity of orthopedic problems since our nerves are highly fragile.

“Let’s go to massage therapy to ease our pain and not lose our ability to walk.”

Even a massage chair might cause extra pain if you set it up in the wrong way. 

Close Up

Pinched nerves feel terrible, but fortunately, routine massage sessions under the control of a real professional can treat a pinched nerve.

So, know your body; don’t try to be cheap or uneducated when your health is concerned.

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