The first way to treat a pinched nerve is to rest the affected area, according to Mayo Clinic. Do not engage in any activity that aggravates the nerve. A splint or brace can also provide immediate relief.
Herbal remedies can offer immediate relief from the pain and can be used either topically or internally, states The Practical Herbalist. A combination of both offers the fastest healing to the pinched nerve. Recommended herbs for topical use include St. John's wort, arnica, cayenne, wintergreen essential oil and lavender essential oil. Internal herbal remedies include St. John's wort, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, butcher's broom and skullcap.
Aside from herbal remedies, pain medications can also offer quick relief to a pinched nerve, according to Mayo Clinic. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can alleviate inflammation around the nerve and lessen the pain. Corticosteroid injections can also decrease inflammation. Physical therapy includes exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles around a pinched nerve to relieve pressure and pain, and a physical therapist can also suggest ways to modify daily activities that aggravate the nerve. If these measures do not relieve the pain and suffering involved with a pinched nerve, surgery might be a final option. The type of surgery needed varies greatly depending on the area of the pinched nerve.