Manage Spinal Pinched Nerve Symptoms by Modifying Your Exercise Routine
If you're an active person who exercises regularly, there may be hope that you can continue working out even though you're experiencing spinal pinched nerve symptoms. But first, before you assume that you can continue with your normal exercise program, make sure to speak to your doctor and get medical clearance, as some exercises may actually make your condition worse.
For example, while some forms of exercise, such as jogging or high-impact sports, may in fact exacerbate your discomfort, there may be many ways that you can stay in shape without exerting excess pressure on your spine. Your doctor may even recommend that you take part in certain low-impact activities, like walking, swimming, or yoga, as these can strengthen muscles and lengthen ligaments in the spine and take stress off your facet joints, intervertebral discs, and vertebrae.
Staying Active without Overexerting Yourself
Your doctor will probably tell you that it's important not to become sedentary as you manage your spinal pinched nerve symptoms because this could lead to increased body weight, stiffness, loss of muscle mass, and reduced circulation. However, it's just as important not to overdo any form of physical activity, as this could cause a worsening of symptoms or serious injury. It often helps to use common sense and practice moderation - for example, replace jogging with walking or stair climbing, and opt for recumbent cycling instead of street cycling. While some discomfort may be natural as you exercise and work through pinched nerve symptoms, stop immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Severe pain
- Difficulty breathing
Pain Relief as You Exercise
Remember to consult with your doctor before integrating any new form of exercise into your pinched nerve treatment regimen. He or she may also be able to prescribe a variety of pain relief techniques that can keep you comfortable as you exercise. For instance, taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug prior to exercising and icing your back or neck after exercising can help mitigate swelling around the site of the pinched nerve. Gentle stretching may also help disperse lactic acid that is built up during physical activity, which will prevent soreness from compounding your pinched nerve symptoms.