Is it a serious issue? Is it something to scare you?
In my clinic, 6 times out of 10, a trapped nerve is caused from a muscle being too tight around it or from a posture related issue.
There are times where a nerve can get impinged due to a spinal disc injury or the facet joints of the spine. Sciatica is a common one here mostly coming from an issue in the lower lumbar spine.
What is a trapped nerve like?
Generally the pain will travel to somewhere else like the arm/hand, or leg/foot.
The pain can be described as a sharp shooting pain.
There may be tingling, numbness or a burning sensation.
The area is usually weak.
Certain movements may make the pain worse.
Generally moving the area causing the trapped nerve is good but this needs to be pain-free. A stretch causing a bit of discomfort in a central location is fine but we don’t want a stretch causing our nerve pain. It’s the wrong stretch
If it hurts my arm to look my head to the LEFT, it may feel good to look my head to the RIGHT.
If bending forward hurts my leg, arching back may ease this pain.
If the stretch causes the pain/makes it worse, AVOID it.
Basically if a certain shape or pose eases the nerve pain, it’s the perfect pose for you. Everyone here will be different.
I find ice is good for inflammed nerves but don’t make the mistake of putting ice on where you feel the pain. It needs to go to where the porblem is at which is generally a more central location such as the spine.
Heat should also help as well especially after the first 3 days. Heat helps to loosen the area and should ease the trapped nerve. Heat should be tried first with a hot water bottle or heat patch and if this eases the pain, you can try heat creams for when you are more active.
In many cases it needs seen to by an injury professional such as a physiotherapist, chiropractor/osteopath or sports therapist.
(Image courtesy of dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)