Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: pinched | nerve | massage

Would Massage Help My Pinched Nerve?

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.   |   Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 09:43 AM

Question: I have a pinched nerve in my neck that causes pain from my shoulder to my hand. Ibuprofen gives me some relief. Do you think massage would help?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Cervical radiculopathy — the official term for neck pain from pressure on a nerve root — is usually diagnosed easily and can sometimes be helped by massage, but not always.
A physical examination can determine if you have had any loss of motor function or feeling. If so, an MRI may be ordered to see if you have a disc problem that's causing the pinched nerve. In most cases of disc disease, the condition will improve with conservative treatment alone, and massage is sometimes an appropriate part of physical therapy.
Be sure to get your doctor's approval for massage before starting it. Physical and occupational therapy is often recommended — and sometime covered by health insurance — when immediate surgery is not required and the risk of spinal cord or further nerve damage is all but absent.

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