A pinched nerve in the neck happens when a vertebra or disc in the upper part of your spine is damaged. This damage can happen because of an injury. Or it can just happen with age.
The changes caused by the damage may put pressure on a nearby nerve root, pinching it. This causes symptoms such as sharp pain in your neck, shoulder, arm, or back. You may also have tingling or numbness. Sometimes it makes your arm weaker. The symptoms are usually worse when you turn your head or strain your neck.
For many people, the symptoms get better over time and finally go away.
Early treatment usually includes medicines for pain and swelling. Sometimes physiotherapy and special exercises may help.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter K983 in the search box to learn more about "Pinched Nerve in the Neck: Care Instructions".
Current as of: March 21, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.