Treatment for a pinched nerve in the shoulder varies considerably based on severity, but it often includes rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral corticosteroids, steroid injections, narcotics, physical therapy, wearing a splint or surgery, according to WebMD.
While most treatment focuses on pain relief and reducing swelling, if the nerves do not recover on their own, surgery may be required to repair the nerves of the shoulder, WebMD explains. Treatment time and strategy is based on the severity and cause of the nerve compression. The first line of treatment is typically resting the arm to prevent further damage and avoiding any activities that cause symptoms to worsen.
In more severe cases, invasive treatment is necessary to remove materials such as scar tissue, disc material or pieces of bone that are pressing on the nerve and causing symptoms, notes WebMD. If symptoms continue or worsen after rest and pain management, visit a doctor to discuss options for surgery or physical therapy to help alleviate pain and restore mobility.
Typical symptoms of a pinched nerve in the shoulder include pain in the arm or shoulder, numbness or tingling in the arm or back, the feeling of pins and needles and weakness associated with certain activities, as stated by WebMD.