Can a Massage Therapist Help with a Pinched Nerve?

Massage therapy has been known to be of help in the treatment of many ailments including stress reduction, pain reduction, and blood circulation. Because of this, massage therapy proves to be useful for many types of conditions, one of which is the treatment of a pinched nerve.

A pinched nerve is a common condition that is experienced by far too many people. According to the PMC Labs, Pinched nerves occur in about 85 out of 100,000 adults every year. Fortunately, it can be treated with simple and non-invasive techniques, if discovered early.

In this article, we discuss the place of a massage therapist in the treatment of a pinched nerve. For more resources on health conditions and how massage can help, visit our website at

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

When the tissues around a nerve are put under stress, the nerve is said to be pinched. These tissues can be cartilage, bone, tendons, or even muscles. Some of the things one may experience when excess pressure is put on the tissues around a nerve include pain, numbness, tingling sensation, or weakness.

You can have a pinched nerve in quite a number of places in your body. You could feel a pinched nerve in your shoulder, neck, leg, or wrist. When this happens, the pain or numbness you feel can easily spread to nearby tissues. For example, if a nerve in your wrist is pinched, the effect may be felt in your fingers or hands.

Most times when a nerve is pinched, surgery will or any other invasive procedure will be necessary to get it treated. When identified early enough, a pinched nerve can be treated in ways that are very easy and painless. Of course, some cases will require that you visit a doctor to diagnose the condition, after which the best method of treatment will be recommended by the specialist.

Symptoms and Causes of a Pinched Nerve

The following are some of the symptoms you may start to experience if there is a pinched nerve in your body:

  • If it feels like you are losing sensation in a part of your body or a numb feeling in that area.
  • If you feel an aching, sharp, or burning sensation spreading through your body, a never may be pinched.
  • A feeling of weakness in your muscles.
  • If you are feeling like there are needles or pins all over your body, it could be an indication that your limbs are falling asleep often, hence, a pinched nerve.

You may find that some of these symptoms become more intense when you try to sleep. With adequate rest, these sensations are expected to subside in a matter of days. However, you may need to book an appointment with a doctor for proper treatment if you notice that these symptoms persist.

Causes of pinched nerves

The following are some of the causes of pinched nerves:

  • Arthritis
  • Mental stress
  • Obesity
  • Pushing the body beyond its capacities through excess physical exercise or outdoor activities
  • Too little physical activity and spending too much time in one position
  • Diabetes is also a high-risk factor.

Can a massage therapist help with a pinched nerve?

The first thing you need to understand is that massage therapy is not the treatment for all forms of pinched nerves. In fact, there are cases where a massage therapist is not going to do anything to your pain in any way; they could even make it worse. That is why it is not advised that you take any step without first consulting with your doctor who is going to consider your pre-existing conditions as well as your medical history before recommending a treatment.

Your visit to the doctor is a good time to ask about going for massage therapy. Once recommended by your doctor, then you can definitely go for it. However, if your doctor does not recommend that you go for massage therapy, do not go as doing so could worsen the pain.

What kind of massage is best for pinched nerves?

Massage therapists have a lot of techniques and styles. However, not all of them can be effective for the treatment of pinched nerves. What works most of the time is the massage that is gentle but firm. This is done in such a way that muscles and the deeper layers of tissue that are tensed up are relaxed. A properly done massage therapy will reduce the pressure on your nerves.

One of the most enjoyable and relaxing massage styles that are available out there is the Swedish massage. It is recommended by many experts for the main purpose of treating pinched nerves. The relaxation that you get from a Swedish massage is beyond just the massage itself, but from the atmosphere that is set with it. This could include the well-regulated temperature of the room, the nice smells, and the soft lighting.

It takes between forty-five minutes to one hour to get fully relaxed during a massage to treat a pinched nerve. There are often two options: either to focus the massage on the part of the body that hurts the most, or a full body massage that is aimed at reducing the stress levels that may have contributed to the pinched nerve.

How long does a pinched nerve take to heal?

With a conservative treatment of between six to twelve weeks, it is expected that the symptoms of a pinched nerve should improve and the nerve functions should go back to normal.

Physical therapy and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are part of conservative treatment options. Adequate rest, regular exercise, changes in sleeping position, ice and hot therapy, and some other lifestyle modifications may also aid your recovery.

How long it would take a pinched nerve to heal will be determined by a number of factors. These include the cause of the pinched nerve, the degree of compression, and the response of your immune system. These will all determine how fast the symptoms will subside.

If symptoms of a pinched nerve persist for more than a few weeks, it may be recommended to go for surgery to put a stop to chronic pain and prevent permanent damage. This may involve removing a part of a herniated disc or bone spurs. With this done, nerve pressure will be greatly reduced and more comfort is ensured.

Bottom Line

A massage therapist can be of much help with a pinched nerve by helping you ease your stress, no matter what the cause is. It is important that you consult with your doctor on the present state of your pinched nerve and confirm if going for massage therapy can give you the desired outcome.