10 Simple Pinched Nerve Exercises

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Have you ever experienced a pinched nerve? If so, you know that it can be an annoying and painful condition to deal with.

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons pressures and disrupts the nerve’s function.

One of the best ways to relieve the pain is with these simple pinched nerve exercises.

Exercises that help stretch and strengthen the damaged area have proven to be very successful. Not only do they relieve pain and help heal the damaged nerve, but they also help prevent the injury from recurring.

When you have a pinched nerve it causes symptoms not only at the site of damage, but also potentially anywhere further down the affected nerve’s path.

A pinched nerve can occur in many places throughout the body but the most common are:

  • Shoulder blade
  • Lower left back
  • Buttocks / down the leg (often sciatica)
  • Elbow (tennis / golfers elbow)
  • Groin / inner thigh (obturator nerve)

Common symptoms of a pinched nerve include

  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Aching
  • Tenderness
  • Shooting pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Prickly sensation
  • Stabbing sensation
  • Tingling sensation

Common causes of pinched nerve pain

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Trigger points
  • Compression and torsion of joints or the spine

Plus, all of these factors can increase your risk of a pinched nerve:

  • Obesity – Excess weight can add pressure to nerves.
  • Heredity – Some people may be genetically predisposed to developing pinched nerves.
  • Posture – Poor posture adds pressure to your spine and nerves.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can compress nerves.
  • Bone spurs – Can stiffen the spine and narrow the space where your nerves travel.
  • Overuse – Repetitive hand, wrist or shoulder movements can lead to pinched nerves.

Simple Pinched Nerve Exercises

These shoulder and back exercises for pinched nerves can help relieve pain and speed up recovery from a pinched nerve.

Back exercises for pinched nerves:

Side bends 

Start in a standing position with your hands on your hips. Be sure to maintain straight posture. Gently stretch your lower back by leaning to both sides of the body. Perform five side bends towards each side of your body.

Twist

Start in a sitting position while placing the legs at shoulder width. Placing your left hand on your right knee and pull your body forward to gently stretch your back muscles. Hold for five seconds then repeat on the opposite side.

Hamstring stretch

Start in a sitting position. Lean forward and attempt to touch your toes. You should feel a gentle stretch in your hamstrings. Hold for ten seconds then sit up straight. Repeat five times.

Exercises for pinched nerve in shoulder blade

Chin extension

Sit on a chair and interlace the fingers on both hands. Place them behind your head.

Move your chin in a downward direction and to the right side simultaneously.

Hold the position for 15 seconds, before looking forward again. Repeat on your left side.

Perform the exercise five times in each direction.

Shoulder shrugs

Perform in a standing position. Keeping both arms at your sides, shrug your shoulders backwards in a rotating motion.

Return to the original position in a similar movement from the opposite direction. Perform a set of 15.

Take a 30 seconds break between each set.

Bench press with broom

 Perform this exercise lying down. Lie on your back while holding a broom across your body with both hands at shoulder width.

Press the broom pressed upwards until your elbows become straight.

Repeat the exercise 15 times with 30 second breaks between each set.

Other pinched nerve exercises

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling and swimming reduce the pain and discomfort associated with a pinched nerve by increasing your blood circulation and delivering oxygen and nutrients to the damaged nerve, which facilitates healing.

Pilates

Pilates is excellent for balancing muscle development, building a strong core, and reinforcing good posture.

Its low impact is a perfect choice for exercising to relieve pain from pinched nerves and minimize the risk of re-injury.

Yoga

Yoga combines classic poses, controlled breathing, and deep relaxation to condition and strengthen your body regardless of your current flexibility or other physical limitations.

Water exercises

Simply moving around in water helps loosen and limber up your body while offering it support you wouldn’t normally get on dry land.

For some specific suggestions, listen to Steve Hefferon’s short audio on water exercises for back pain.

Muscle Balance Therapy

While all of these exercises can help relieve pain from a pinched nerve, if you want to prevent its recurrence you must address the leading cause of all back pain, and much of the pain elsewhere in your body: muscle imbalances.

Muscle balance therapy is a systematic approach for identifying the specific muscle imbalances behind your pain.

It then gives you targeted exercises to strengthen your underworked, weak muscles and targeted stretches to loosen up those tight, overworked muscles.

Learn more about the benefits of Muscle Balance Therapy right here.

Try these stretches for neck pain

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Learn the true causes of your back pain and how to fix it without drugs or surgery in my book The 7-Day Back Pain Cure, which you can download for free right here.

Filed Under: Pain Relief
Written By: Updated:

Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT Pain Relief Expert, Post Rehab Specialist

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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33 thoughts on “10 Simple Pinched Nerve Exercises”

  1. JoAnn says:

    I really appreciate receving this info ~ will start righ t away ~ praying fo releif!

    1. Renee Kerckhove says:

      This site is so wonderful..it helped on so many levels. Not just with your pain but to literally understand what is causing the pain helps to wrap your mind around it and give you a better understanding. I also found MFR release by Barn’s therapy does wonders to help get that oxygen where it was once cut off.
      Brilliant resource I say!!

      1. Admin says:

        HI Renee,

        Thank you so much for your kind words, we do appreciate you taking the time. We are happy that you are finding our information helpful and giving you a better understanding.

        Admin
        (The Healthy Back Institute)

  2. dave says:

    Jesse , y’all are great with so many HOOK EM HORNS all the live long day, vitally important information emails which help many people with vast amount of problems. this brings great credit and pride upon the republic of Texas and throughout the nation good folks that show concern for neighbors . thanks your body of work offers a vast amount of easy to access research and timely solutions for holistic medicine .

  3. Rita says:

    Hi

    thank you for sharing the 10 tips for neck exercises, I will also try the water exercise, God bless

    1. Dorothy says:

      I’m suffering now with nerve damage in my neck.Cervical neck herniated…It Been 2 months ..Pain in neck shoulder arms fingers on the left side and sometimes the right side too.. What do you recommend.. I do not want surgery.. But I’m aching all over

      1. Admin says:

        Hi Dorothy,
        Thank you for your comment and we would like to help. Please consider getting yourself a copy of our Free book, “The 7 Day Back Pain Cure”.
        The book discusses pain relief methods to try and many different treatment options you can consider. It has other useful health related information as well when dealing with pain.

        Please read more about the 7 Day Back Pain Cure book and details of what it covers via the link below

        http://www.losethebackpain.com/7daybackpaincure.html

        Our Best Wishes, Thank you
        Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  4. Darren Woodall says:

    I’ve suffered now for 2 months so I will try anything to get less pain.

    Thank you for your exercise tips

  5. Admin says:

    HI Darren,

    We would like to suggest you read our free back pain book -The 7 Day Back Pain Cure. It has information regarding different treatment options and pain relief methods plus many other useful aspects to help. You can find out more in the link below

    http://www.losethebackpain.com/7daybackpaincure.html

    Thank you
    Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  6. noel whelan says:

    use hot water from the shower then bend down slowly to touch your toes leaving the hot as you can take water 8inches above the buttocks repeat as many time as you can .also sleep with a pillow between your legs

  7. Julia says:

    I went to my Dr. and she prescribed me a muscle relaxer which I can’t take, because it’s way to strong for me. I started these excersises about 3 days ago and also I added a row workout w/bands and my shoulder/arm feels like it’s starting to loosen up some and I am also sleeping sitting up so I can’t damage or put extra pressure on it. I hope on the next few days I’m back to normal☺

  8. Carol says:

    I have a pinched nerve in my lower back on my left side I be in a lot of pain I do anything to get rid of it.it got my left leg numb do that have something to do with the pinched nerve it’s very annoying I can’t walk without hurting I been dealing with this almost a year. Please help me.

  9. Admin says:

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you for explaining your symptoms. We suggest you get a copy of our free back pain book -The 7 Day Back Pain Cure. It has lots of information to understand back pain better along with pain relief methods for you to try. You will also find useful information and treatment options. It has a lot of other information you will find helpful as well when dealing with back, nerve and sciatic pain. Please read more about the book and its contents via the link below

    http://www.losethebackpain.com/7daybackpaincure.html

    Thank you
    Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  10. Donna L Newlen says:

    I have severe pain radiating from lower right side down my leg. I have had 4 spinal fusions. It hurts extremely bad
    to put weight on my foot. What can I do to get some relief?

    1. Sandra Hardin says:

      I read your post. Did you find any relief.

  11. Admin says:

    Hi Donna,
    Thank you for posting with your symptoms and questions. We suggest as a good step to help you, that you get a copy of our free back pain book -The 7 Day Back Pain Cure and read it through. It has information to understand sciatica and back pain better and pain relief methods for you to consider. It also covers different treatment options. The book has a lot of other useful health related information you will find helpful as well when dealing with pain. Please read more about the 7 Day Back Pain Cure book and how it can help you via the link below

    http://www.losethebackpain.com/7daybackpaincure.html

    Thank you
    Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  12. Ann B. says:

    Hi, I have had Fusion Back Surgery over a year ago and now I have a pinched nerve on the right side of my lower hip/back. Went to a Chiropractor but no help. Now I am going to have an Epedoral done.
    Is there any exercise for a pinched nerve I can do. It sends pain down my leg in the front from my knee down. Pls help.

  13. Admin says:

    Hi Ann,
    Please start by getting a copy of our free 7 Day Back Pain Cure book. We believe that education is the number one step for anyone and key for dealing with backpain issues, so suggest this as a good first step to help you.
    It has information to understand back pain better and pain relief methods for you to try. It covers different treatment options you can consider. The book has a lot of other useful health related information you will find helpful as well when dealing with the pain you describe. Please read more about the 7 Day Back Pain Cure book and how it can help you via the link below

    http://www.losethebackpain.com/7daybackpaincure.html

    Our Best Wishes, Thank you
    Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  14. Darren Bishop says:

    Hi,

    I have a pain which feels like it is just under my left shoulder blade. I believe it may be a trapped nerve or a trapped but of muscle. I’ve had it for around 3-4 weeks now and still has got no better. I’ve had a couple of massages but no1 can seem to shift it. It feels very tense that side compared to my right side. I also feel a slight lump which I believe is the muscle popped through. Will theses exercises help or can you suggest anything else. Thank you, Darren

  15. Darren,

    There is no way for anyone other then a physician to be able to tell you specifically what is wrong, but from a Non invasive and conservative treatment approach, yes massage is a good starting point, would suggest some Trigger Point work, myofascial release work and what I call Heavy pressure vs deep pressure.

    Of course stretching and exercises could be an option for you.

    Some supplements that help relax muscles like Magnesium and or systemic enzymes are and option.

    But nothing will be more important then you educating your self about all of the possible causes and all of your treatments options , but that is something you will have to do along with a qualified health care provider.

    Please keep us posted

    Steve HBI Staff

  16. Evelyn Overcast says:

    I have two comments. 1st I have cervical stenosis that causes me to have many issues besides just the horrible pain. Numbness/ weakness in my arms and hands. I have already had two surgeries where vertebrae were fused and a plate and screws were inserted. More surgery had been recommended as the problem has moved above the original site of c5-7. I used the heal and soothe cream with some relief; do you recommend anything else?
    The other comment is more a miracle. I have a17 1/2 yr old poodle that went lame about a year and a half ago. After seeing a vet and having steroid therapy which did nothing. The vet suggested euthanasia since the poor thing was unable to use his rear legs. He could not even stand up. I had any old bottle of the heal and soothe pills in my fridge from a few years ago. I thought to myself out is worth a try; not expecting a whole lot not much seemed to be happening but something (God) said give it more time. After about 2 weeks I had to go out of town for a bit but had a dear friend that was willing to keep giving him the heal and soothe pills. I had made up my mind if there was still no change when I got home I was going to have him put down. I got home in the evening, ready for heart break, carried him outside to go potty, I had turned my attention away from him for a moment and when I looked back he was standing on all four feet!! Something he had not done for over 2 months. Each day he kept getting stronger and stronger. Now he can trot and walk where ever he wants to go.

  17. Cidymeetze@gmail.com says:

    I have suffrred with L2, 3, 4, and 5 for years. I now have degenerative disease in all 4. Sciatica is out of the roof. Every 10 to 15 min. I have to relieve myself, (potty) , only about a tbsp. each time. I’m lying in bed with ice packs. Crying from pain cramping my legs like Charliehorses, I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve read books galore, been to the chiropractor, been to Drs, and no one has helped. CAN YOU HELP ME PLEASE?

    1. Melissa Grant says:

      Have u believed in the power of prayer, ask God to heal you, keep the faith

  18. Lauren says:

    Two weeks before Christmas, I get up and within15 min my shoulder starts aching. I work on a computer so I stretched out and it didn’t really help. It’s been two weeks and it’s a little better but not okay. I stopped working on my computer. Feel good in the morning, but gradually it starts to ache more throughout the day. Aspirin helps. I did yoga and that helped for a few hours but the pain came back. Is it time to see a doctor?

    1. Steve HBI-Staff says:

      Lauren,

      In 99% of cases when people wake up with pain, they simply slept in a way that overstretched the area so what we suggest is that you “not stretch it anymore” as that will only irritate it more, we suggest that you do simple exercises to reset the muscle…

      Here is one simple stretch for the shoulder and upper back
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYY72u4B1JI&t=7s

      Thanks

      Steve

  19. chris says:

    thank you.

  20. mike sneath says:

    have a prob with neck and back , when get up quick get dizy feeling for a few mo from laying down on back [ have pinch nerve I think [from tryin to pick up a generator ]have done it before but to far away from phyisio will try your exercise, have ordered your book as well as tabs [for knee] cheers m s

  21. Tony shannon says:

    Simple and effective. Found the exercise for stiffness in top shoulder/neck muscle brilliant.

  22. Alisha says:

    my mom has pinched nerve in neck but when she does exercises for pinched nerve it hurts so much while doing so😟😕😦😲

  23. Claire Wood says:

    Hi Jesse
    I have a severe pain in my back – physio said 15 months ago that it’s a pinched nerve, but she hasn’t managed to sort it out yet. The pain radiates into my neck (usually only on the right side, but the past few days, both sides) and into my shoulder, down my right arm causing numbness and tingling in both sections of my arm (top and bottom) – what can I do about it?? Please help! Apparently my next step is the Neurosurgeon which I would prefer to avoid…

  24. jessica says:

    hi! i’m on the Heal Soothe already but too early to tell effectiveness since it’s my 1st bottle. i’d like to know how exactly to take it to maximize results before further ordering. i do get sleepy with it so i tend to avoid it at nights when i work (i’m a night shift RN). i have cervical radiculopathy & carpal tunnel syndrome mostly on my R handbut now w/ tingling too on my L fingers. i also have R hip pain, dull R thigh pain & tingling on my feet. i’ve never known how debilitating this kind of pain from a pinched nerve & i will stop at nothing till i fully understand this problem so that i can proceed w/ treatment options before i consider surgery which i dread. already, the term muscle imbalance is something that i’ve never heard before but came to know in your website. my sister who is a retired RN has same probs w/ her spine but worse, she had cervical laminectomy. i shared with her your website & encouraged her to try HealNSoothe.. can’t wait to get the book.

  25. Steve HBI Staff says:

    Jessica,

    There is no exact right way to take systemic enzymes, there are factors regarding serving size and body size… There are considerations regarding severity and duration of the issue you are looking to get control of so I will tell you it is more about consistent daily use than about trying to do the right thing…

    Please simply stay consistent with it use, work on your diet, physical activity and emotion balance and in time all will be well…

    Thanks

    Steve HBI Staff

  26. Melissa says:

    Good blog on nerve pain Jesse! I have dealt with it myself between the shoulder blades due to getting rear ended in an accident . Painful doesn’t begin to describe the pain! As a licensed massage therapist I got massages dud stretching and everything you can think of! What worked for me was Crotherapy! I go 5 x a week and NO pain. 😁

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