How Does a Pinched Nerve Heal?

pinched nerve

Our nervous system is like the pain telegraph of the body.  But it’s also the bearer of pleasant sensations, like touch.

When one of our nerves is pinched, pain results and this is especially true of the nerves associated with the complex systems of the spine and back.

Let’s read more about our nerves and answer the question – how does a pinched nerve heal?


Nerve pain is usually characterized by numbness and tingling near the affected nerve.  This can be accompanied by muscle weakness.

In the lower back, nerve pain will usually increase with physical activity.  A tingling or burning sensation may also signal nerve pain.

But if you’re experiencing symptoms like incontinence of the bladder or bowel, are unable to grip items normally and have serious weakness in the part of your body affected, you should not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately.  All these symptoms signal severe damage to a nerve or nerves.

Non-invasive Treatment

While the pain is real, pinched nerves usually don’t require a lot of treatment and non-invasive therapies are those which will be tried first.  These include:

  • Bracing to allow the nerve to recover and to prevent further damage
  • Rest and refraining from movements and activities which compress the affected nerve
  • Physical therapy for stretching and strengthening
  • Oral or intravenous drug therapy for pain and inflammation

With the right clinical response, pain from a pinched nerve should resolve in a matter of weeks to several months.


While a pinched nerve requires medical attention, there’s a lot you can to do to enhance the effects of treatment.

Taking a look at your workstation and making it more ergonomically sound is a good place to start helping yourself.  Ensure you’re sitting properly, with your backside up against the back of the chair and your feet flat on the floor.

Elbows should be at right angles and you should be looking directly at the center of your computer screen – not up or down.

Rest includes sleeping a little more to allow your body to heal and refraining from activities which may inflame the affected nerve.  Light stretching and gently massaging the area are also helpful tools.

Contrast therapy (alternating the application of heat and cold) and increasing your daily amount of low-impact exercise are simple ways to move your recovery along.  A 30-minute walk will get you there but the more accustomed you become to your daily walk, the more you’ll look forward to it.  You’ll want to walk a little further!

Back & Body Medical

Our state-of-the-art clinic in the heart of Manhattan has won awards for its groundbreaking multi-disciplinarian care model.  By applying treatments from 4 distinct disciplines – acupuncture, chiropractic, sports medicine and physical therapy, we create individual care plans that work.

If you’re experiencing nerve pain, our team of clinicians can help.  By examining the root cause of your pain, we arrive at solutions tailored to patient need.  Then, we work with you to strengthen and properly align your body to achieve the balance that prevents pain.

Contact us.  Feel better.

WordPress Video Lightbox