Resting the area is often sufficient for clearing up the symptoms of a pinched nerve, according to Mayo Clinic. Immobilizing the area with a splint or a brace is also helpful in some situations. In more severe cases, physical therapy, medication or surgery is necessary to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
In cases where rest and immobilization prove inadequate, a physical therapist can show a patient how to perform exercises that reduce pressure on the pinched nerve by strengthening and stretching the nearby muscles, states Mayo Clinic. A physical therapist may also be able to demonstrate ways to modify an already established exercise regimen to avoid aggravating the pinched nerve.
Examples of medications doctors may prescribe to address the symptoms of a pinched nerve include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid injections, explains Mayo Clinic. Both options are able to lessen inflammation around the affected nerve while simultaneously providing pain relief. If symptoms still persist, surgery may be indicated. If the pinched nerve is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, a surgeon can sever the carpal ligament, creating additional space for the nerve inside of the wrist. In other cases, the surgery may entail removing material, such a piece of bone or scar tissue, that is putting pressure on the nerve.