The more common experience of a pinched nerve is often called a “pins and needles” sensation. When a nerve is compressed, it can cause tingling and numbness that can be painful and even uncomfortable. While that pins and needles feeling tends to occur if you were sitting with your legs crossed for a long time, it often goes away once you start moving again. However, if you notice pain, tingling, and numbness in your neck after a car accident, you might be dealing with a pinched nerve. If you are concerned about symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck, car accident chiropractors can walk you through the best way to recover and alleviate your symptoms.
What a Pinched Nerve Feels Like
If you have a pinched nerve in the neck, symptoms can range from pain and discomfort to tingling, weakness, and even numbness. Typically, a pinched nerve located in or around the spine in your neck can actually cause symptoms elsewhere in the body. That’s because your nerves actually send signals to other parts of the body, like your arms and hands. A pinched nerve in the neck can cause that pins and needles sensation to occur in your arms or hands, so you might feel like your hand has “fallen asleep.” A pinched nerve can also cause a sharp, stabbing pain that feels like it is shooting through your neck and into your extremities. Some people describe a pinched nerve in the neck as an aching or burning pain, along with decreased sensation or numbness.
Common Causes of a Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve in your neck can occur from a car accident in a number of different ways. The most common car accident injury suffered in rear-end collisions is whiplash. A whiplash injury can affect your head and neck, leading to issues like a pinched nerve. The stress on the spine in your neck after a car accident can cause swelling and inflammation of soft tissues, which can compress nearby nerves. You could also suffer a misalignment in the spinal vertebrae or the spinal discs that separate them. This can cause a nearby nerve to become pinched or compressed, meaning the nerve is under too much pressure.
Exercises for a Pinched Nerve in the Neck
There are gentle exercises you can do to help relieve pressure on a pinched nerve in your neck. Your car accident chiropractor can walk you through these stretches and exercises that you can safely do from the comfort of your home. You might be surprised to learn that exercises for a pinched nerve in the neck can seem very small in movement but can provide a serious amount of relief. Here are three exercises to try for a pinched nerve in your neck:
The discomfort associated with a pinched nerve can limit the range of motion in your head and neck. The first exercise to try is slowly turning your head from side to side. Use proper posture and start with your face straight ahead before slowly turning your head to one side, pause for 10 seconds, and then turn to the other side.
Bending your neck safely and gently can also help to relieve symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck. Start in a neutral posture facing forward. Then gently tip your chin toward your chest and hold for 10 seconds before returning to face straight ahead.
Tension can build up in your neck and shoulder muscles after a car accident and when you are dealing with pain from an injury. Gently lift your shoulders up and rotate them backward and down. This helps to restore proper posture to your neck and shoulders while also releasing tension. Repeat this move several times before reversing and rotating your shoulders forward.
Treatment for a Pinched Nerve After a Car Accident
Car accident chiropractors can help diagnose and develop an appropriate treatment plan to relieve your symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck. Stretches and exercises are an all-natural and effective way to manage your pain and other symptoms while you heal. Visit our team of car accident chiropractors at a ProCare Medical Center near you and learn about our personalized approach to your care for a wide variety of conditions and injuries.