A pinched nerve in the cervical spine: symptoms, treatment at home and in hospital

How to identify and treat pinched nerve in cervical spine

A pinched nerve is a problem not only fairly common, but is characterized by sharp pain, more intense than any other violation.

The problem arises in the process of compression of the nerve roots that extend from the spine between the adjacent intervertebral discs and vertebrae, muscles and tumors bearing pathological.

A pinched cervical nerve occurs on the background of the formation of other diseases of the spine (most commonly osteoarthritis).

The pinched nerve can also result in injuries of a different nature: acute injury or long-term injury, constant nature (bad posture at work, rest). All of these injuries and changes affect the vertebrae and soft tissues in the neck.

Very often this problem can occur in infants (especially the first two cervical vertebrae), due to their small displacement.

The offset is due to the peculiarities of the anatomical structure, weakness of muscles, ligaments, which have not yet fully complied with its supporting and movement and locking functions.

Among the many blood vessels and nerve passing in this area to the tissues of the head and neck, the most vulnerable is the vertebral artery coming out of the holes in the vertebrae. It trapped most often, and therefore the amount of nutrients and oxygen to the brain with blood becomes much less.

Predisposing factors

The main reasons that cause such a violation include:

  • the displacement of the vertebrae;
  • injuries of different nature;
  • spasms of the muscles;
  • growths on bone;
  • overgrown connective tissue;
  • the protrusion or dropping of the disk;
  • the protrusion;
  • narrowing the distance between the vertebrae;
  • a herniated disc;
  • osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

To provoke a situation in which there is a pinched nerve in the cervical spine can:

  • endocrine disorders;
  • loads of physical and emotional nature;
  • head turns performed very strongly;
  • various diseases in the period of exacerbation;
  • the growing tumor in the neck;
  • hypothermia;
  • growing scars;
  • a sedentary lifestyle.

Predisposing factors in infants

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A pinched nerve in infants is due to a small displacement of the upper vertebrae, which in turn can happen for a number of reasons:

  • elderly mother;
  • entanglement of the umbilical cord;
  • narrow pelvis mothers;
  • incorrect presentation;
  • possible injuries of the pelvis of the pregnant woman;
  • scoliosis of the lumbar mother;
  • disorders of the intestine, its pressure on the developing fetus.

Also, the innervation of the nerve may occur directly at the time of birth due to:

  • birth injury;
  • entanglement of the umbilical cord;
  • abnormal position of the fetus;
  • problems in fetal development;
  • in cases of post-term pregnancy;
  • mismatch size of the fetus (large size) and genital passages of the mother;
  • diabetic fetopathy fetus.

During the adoption childbirth can be heard crunching (most often it is at this point occurs the displacement of the vertebrae in the cervical spine). At this point, the load on the cervical crumbs the maximum, so the pinched – often the case.

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The clinical picture and symptoms

Most often, pain due to pinched, appear as compressing, tearing, burning less. Locations: in the neck, shoulder, nape and shoulder blades.

The characteristic symptom of a pinched nerve in the cervical spine are headaches, dizziness that arise from one or both sides, usually in the morning after waking up. Such pain may be aggravated by the slightest movement of the head, and also when it is fully immobilization.

When the pinched nerve in the neck can be pain of different character: in the left half of the chest and give to the left hand. Such feelings can be confused with angina, but heart medication in this situation will not be effective.

In the area of innervation may appear sensitivity disorders. So, the patient with this problem may experience numbness, swelling of the tongue, tossing and turning. The characteristic pain occurs in the region of the clavicle and weakness in the shoulder area, neck. Reduced muscle tone in the hands.

If the process of compression of nerves in the neck is tightened for a long period, the problem may evolve in a different condition – cervical myelopathy with paresis of the upper and lower extremities.

Based on these symptoms, may arise and other symptoms of pinched nerve in the cervical spine:

  • General fatigue;
  • decreased performance;
  • pressure surges;
  • irregularities in the internal organs and systems;
  • ischemia;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • the weakening of hearing and vision.

Symptoms of innervation have baby:

  • tense muscles of the head and neck;
  • crying during recess position;
  • fixed torticollis, often associated with displacement of the vertebrae;
  • sealing of soft tissue neck;
  • crying, during the lifting arms.

First aid in case of a sharp aggravation

If the pain came suddenly, but at the moment, going to the doctor is impossible, measures should be taken first aid in this situation. First, you need to try as possible to move your arm and neck, and then is to take the anesthetic.

Second, to the affected area you can apply a warm heating pad for 15 minutes – it will slightly ease the pain. But with the swelling of the inflamed nerve will help to relieve a cold compress.

With this method, you must be very careful, because the cold can aggravate the situation. If you use this method, soak a compress to minimize. Alternative to cold – cream with a cooling effect.

Diagnostic criteria and methods

Diagnosis if you suspect a pinched cervical nerve starts with a detailed survey of the patient’s physician. He needs to find out the specifics of the disease, manifested symptoms.

The next stage is the examination of the patient, wherein the expert probes which vertebra provoked a pinched how well the person can perform a tilting head, turn the neck, are there spasms, numbness in hands, etc.

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The third stage is a hardware diagnostics:

  • x-rays of the cervical;
  • MRI;
  • electromyography to determine the condition and the degree of functioning of muscles and nerve endings in the cervical;
  • computed tomography, which gives an idea about those areas of the spine that are hidden under the spinal cord;
  • is a lumbar puncture.

The main goal of treatment is relief from pain with a parallel correction of the reasons for having a pinched cervical nerve.

The effectiveness of the treatment is accurately chosen methodology. It should be a combination of different methods, which together give a good result and fast recovery of the patient.

What you can do on your own?

The use of popular treatments of pinched cervical nerve official medicine does not deny one thing: a patient should consult their physician before to apply them yourself at home, so as not to aggravate the situation.

In this situation, the most relevant:

  1. The compresses. The most effective proven compresses: tincture of garlic and red pepper; honey and flour; black radish and rye flour.
  2. Bath. People who prefer medicated bath, it may be advisable decoction of herbs, which after cooking is added to water. The calculation is as follows: 200 grams of broth to 3 quarts of water. For the preparation of means necessary; chamomile, nettle, chestnut, oak bark and fir, air.
  3. Ointment. The fir oil to combine with the same amount of Valerian, properly stirred. Further, a means is necessary to lubricate the problematic area. For the preparation of hop ointment need crushed hop cones and 20 grams of any fat. Give everything a good mix and apply on the problematic area to relieve pain every 4 hours.

The complex of therapeutic measures

The complex of therapeutic measures applied in this disease.


The medical treatment is the use of anti-inflammatory drugs most often prescribed: Indomethacin, Piroxicam, Baralgin, Ketorol, Diclofenac, Movalis, Ketonal. In particularly severe cases, injections of corticosteroids (hormones that relieve inflammation).

In parallel with anti-inflammatory drugs requires taking b vitamins, which nourish the tissue and promote rapid healing.

In combination with sedatives is important to the application of special ointments, and the period of disease development is extremely important, because in the early days, you can only use cooling gels and ointments, in order not to aggravate the swelling, and at a later date apply tools, warming character.

In cases where the cause of the entrapment was low back pain, a doctor may be prescribed chondroprotectors, nourishing and rejuvenating cartilage tissue. Can also be assigned a neuroprotectant and nootropic drugs to restore cerebral circulation.

Manual therapy

Manual therapy is most effective if the jamming was caused by herniated discs or fibrous ring. Thanks to this method it is possible quickly enough to stop the pain, eliminate the limitations of the movements. In some cases, the symptoms disappear after the first session. Thanks to the manual therapy decreases the pressure on the problematic nerve.

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The advantages of the method:

  • increase the space between vertebrae;
  • the release of the nerve;
  • stimulation of blood circulation;
  • improved nutrition of the intervertebral disc;
  • elimination of muscle spasm.


The main aim of physiotherapy – improving the General condition of a person. The method will help to get rid of muscle spasms and pain.

The most popular methods of physiotherapy:

  1. Massage. Massage course with the pinching up to 20 sessions. It is important to remember that massage can be carried out only specialist, which is most well suited to each patient. A layman will only aggravate the situation.
  2. UHF-therapy.
  3. The laser treatment.
  4. Impact of ultrasound and magnetic therapy.
  5. Acupuncture. Helps to quickly relieve swelling and pain. The procedure itself is completely safe and painless. Remarkably, this method to their good results may reduce medication burden on the body by narrowing the list of assigned drugs.

Physical therapy — a comprehensive approach

For the treatment for pinched nerve in the cervical spine it is important to include this method as a therapeutic exercise. Exercises to solve this problem should be aimed at strengthening such muscles as the cervical, lumbar, thoracic. Well developed and strong muscles securely support the spine and reduce the load on it, preventing a pinched nerve.

A pinched nerve in the cervical spine provokes a sharp, throbbing headaches. These sensations are localized in the occipital part and spread to his forehead. When head movement becomes stronger.

If you do not start timely treatment, following ischemic stroke.

Prevention of recurrent infringement

To prevent jamming it is necessary, first, to reduce the load on the cervical spine. Ideally, to exclude heavy lifting.

While working at the computer be sure to take breaks and perform a set of exercises to strengthen the muscles of the neck and back.

For a full and healthy sleep, you must purchase a pillowtop mattress and a pillow.

Is to learn some yoga asanas that will help strengthen the muscles of the back and neck, which in turn, will support the spine in the correct position and eliminates the option of pinched nerve in the cervical spine.