Can You Workout with a Pinched Nerve in Shoulder 2024?

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Can You Workout with a Pinched Nerve in Shoulder?

The intricate network of nerves running through your shoulder can undergo compression from various sources. Inflammation or injury, such as trauma to the shoulder blade or neck, can lead to swelling that exerts pressure on the nerves.

Aging is another contributing factor; with time, degeneration of discs in the cervical spine can result in a herniated disc, causing a pinch. Furthermore, cervical radiculopathy describes the condition where nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae are compressed. Issues such as arthritis can also play a role by narrowing the spaces through which the nerves travel.

Identifying Symptoms: From Pain to Numbness

Recognizing the symptoms of a pinched nerve is crucial for effective management. Typically, you might experience:

  • Pain in the affected area that can range from sharp or burning to dull and achy
  • Numbness or decreased sensation along the nerve pathway, including in your arm
  • Tingling, “pins and needles,” or a shooting pain radiating down the arm from the shoulder
  • Weakness, making it difficult to perform movements that rely on the affected muscles

When to Consider Surgery

Surgery is generally considered a last resort when other treatments have failed to provide relief or if the nerve compression is severe. Indicators that surgery might be necessary include persistent pain that impairs your quality of life, significant weakness, or loss of function in your shoulder or arm.

Before considering an operation, it’s essential to have a thorough diagnosis, often involving imaging tests like MRIs, confirming that the nerve compression is not likely to improve with conservative treatments.

Can You Workout with a Pinched Nerve in Shoulder?

A person with a pinched nerve in their shoulder struggles to exercise, wincing in pain while attempting to lift weights or stretch

Safe Exercise Guidelines

Before diving into any physical activity, prioritize protecting your nerve from additional damage. Start with a physical exam by a professional to determine your specific condition. Keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid activities that worsen your symptoms.
  • Focus on maintaining good posture to relieve pressure on the nerve.
  • Integrate low-impact activities like walking to maintain fitness without strain.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you experience increased pain or a change in sensation.

Recommended Stretches and Strengthening Exercises

Your goal here is to balance relief with building strength. Take a look at these gentle stretches and therapeutic exercises:

  1. Chin Tucks: Strengthens neck muscles and improves spinal posture. Gently press your chin toward your neck while keeping your spine straight.
  2. Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Develops strength in the upper back and corrects slouched posture. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, holding for a few seconds.
  3. Shoulder Rotations: Using an exercise band, strengthen your shoulder muscles with controlled rotations.

Incorporate flexibility and massage therapy into your regimen for added relief and improved range of motion.

Physical Therapy and Its Role

Consulting with physical therapists can offer a tailored exercise program. They’ll combine manual therapy with specific movements to:

  • Alleviate symptoms through pain relief techniques.
  • Educate on proper body mechanics.
  • Advance to more challenging exercises as your strength improves.
  • Measure progress and adjust your exercise plan after follow-up assessments.


Is exercise good for pinched nerve in shoulder?

Gentle exercise can be good for a pinched nerve in the shoulder, as it may help reduce inflammation and pain.

Can I still go to the gym with a pinched nerve?

You can go to the gym with a pinched nerve, but avoid exercises that exacerbate the pain or discomfort.

How do you lift weights with a pinched nerve?

Lift weights with a pinched nerve by using low resistance and avoiding overhead movements; focus on maintaining proper form.

How do you release a pinched nerve in your shoulder?

To release a pinched nerve in your shoulder, perform gentle stretching exercises, like shoulder rolls and neck tilts, and consider physical therapy.

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