I’ve Got a Pinched Nerve in My Neck
Written by Brian Payne
At the base of the neck is where people experience the greatest loads and as a consequence, injuries occur in this all-important region. Commonly the Intervertebral discs may be injured enough to either touch or irritate parts of the nerve/nerves exiting nearby, creating enormous pain and discomfort. This injury is concurrently accompanied by chemical irritation of the nerve itself and surrounding structures, especially as the nerve itself exits the spine through a hole called the Intervertebral Foramen.
Poor muscle balance around the shoulder girdle/neck is generally responsible for excessively & unnecessarily loading the base of the neck and consequently compressing the nerve. Static seated positions, such as sitting at a desk typing are the main non-traumatic form of this type of injury. Naturally, the biggest irritant to this injury is to continue sitting at a computer, using an iPad or handheld device for too long in one position.
The key to getting this sorted out involves your Physio initially doing some gentle yet effective manual therapy techniques to help take the pressure off the muscles and trouble making joints in the affected area. This helps to alleviate some of the load around the nerve. Then getting postural advice combined with simple exercises will recapture muscular balance and lead to a pain free seated position when working on a computer or undertaking your work.