10 Signs Your Pinched Nerve Is Healing

Apr 27, 2022

10 Signs Your Pinched Nerve Is Healing

A pinched nerve can occur for a wide range of reasons. The symptoms of a pinched nerve can cause extreme discomfort, including pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness. If you have ever had a pinched nerve, then you know how frustrating the experience can be. A pinched nerve can cause shooting or stabbing pain that flares up with certain movements or activities. From shoulder injuries to spinal conditions, there are several pinched nerve causes. To avoid a pinched nerve coming back to bother you again, you want to work with a doctor who can provide you with treatment and preventative care. Treatment for a pinched nerve should help reduce your uncomfortable symptoms and allow you to return to your regular routines and activities. Here’s what you need to know about pinched nerve healing signs.

3 Types of Pinched Nerves

Pinched nerves can occur in various parts of the body, and each type presents unique symptoms and challenges. If you’re wondering, “What does a pinched nerve feel like?” then it helps to know what type you’re dealing with. Understanding the different types of pinched nerves can help identify and treat the condition effectively. Here are three common types of pinched nerves:

Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy, commonly known as a pinched nerve in the neck, occurs when a nerve in the cervical spine (the neck region) is compressed. This compression can be due to herniated discs, bone spurs, or degenerative changes in the cervical spine. The symptoms of cervical radiculopathy often include:

  • Neck Pain: Sharp or burning pain that can radiate from the neck to the shoulders and down the arms.
  • Numbness and Tingling: A “pins and needles” sensation in the shoulders, arms, or hands.
  • Weakness: Muscle weakness in the arm or hand, making it difficult to grip objects or perform tasks.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Difficulty moving the neck or head without pain.

Cervical radiculopathy can significantly impact daily activities, like driving or working at a computer. Pinched nerve treatment often includes physical therapy, medications, and sometimes injections to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure on the nerve.


Sciatica, also known as lumbar radiculopathy, occurs when the sciatic nerve in the lower back is compressed. This type of pinched nerve is commonly caused by herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or bone spurs in the lumbar spine. The symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Lower Back Pain: Persistent pain in the lower back that can extend to the buttocks, thighs, and legs.
  • Leg Pain: Sharp, shooting pain that travels down the leg, often described as a burning or electric shock sensation.
  • Numbness and Tingling: A tingling or “pins and needles” feeling in the legs or feet.
  • Weakness: Muscle weakness in the leg or foot, which can affect walking or standing.

Sciatica can be particularly debilitating, affecting mobility and quality of life. Treatment options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and epidural steroid injections. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be required to relieve the pressure on the affected nerve.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve is compressed as it travels through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This type of pinched nerve is often associated with repetitive motions, such as typing or using hand tools. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Wrist Pain: Pain in the wrist that can extend to the hand and fingers.
  • Numbness and Tingling: A tingling or “pins and needles” sensation in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
  • Weakness: Weakness in the hand, making it difficult to grip objects or perform fine motor tasks.
  • Swelling and Stiffness: Swelling and stiffness in the wrist, particularly in the morning or after prolonged use.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can significantly affect daily activities, such as typing, writing, or using tools. Treatment typically involves wrist splints, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure on the median nerve.

10 Signs Your Pinched Nerve Is Healing

One question you may ask yourself is “What does a pinched nerve feel like as it heals?” Whether you’re dealing with carpal tunnel or sciatica, there are certain signs that a pinched nerve is healing. Keep an eye out for these 10 pinched nerve healing signs.

Pinched nerve pain starts to dull

A pinched nerve will typically cause a sharp, stabbing pain. This type of pain typically begins where the pinched nerve is located and radiates outward into other parts of the body. When a nerve is compressed or pinched, this disrupts its healthy functioning. As you heal from a pinched nerve, the pain will weaken and may feel more like a dull, throbbing pain that occurs less often.

Decrease in pain radiating outward

A pinched nerve will cause symptoms that radiate into your extremities. If you have a pinched nerve in your neck, then you may experience pain and other symptoms that radiate into your arm and hand. A pinched nerve in your lower back can cause shooting pains down your leg and into your foot. As a pinched nerve starts to heal, the radiating pain will start to decrease.

Movements don’t cause a flare-up

Certain movements may be more likely to cause a flare-up of pinched nerve symptoms. If you developed a pinched nerve from a repetitive activity like playing a racquet sport, then certain tennis or golf strokes may make your pain worse. As the pinched nerve heals, however, these movements will not aggravate the area like before. Treatment of the root cause of your pinched nerve will help reduce inflammation or other factors that are causing the compression.

Fewer instances of pins and needles

Another common symptom of a pinched nerve is a sensation of pins and needles. This painful tingling and numbness can happen when you sit in one position for too long and you notice your foot “fell asleep.” Your foot falling asleep is an example of a minor pinched nerve. Once you change positions and remove pressure off the nerve, the symptoms go away. A more serious case of a pinched nerve can cause the pins and needles sensation for longer periods of time.

Regaining sensation in the area

A pinched nerve can also cause a loss of sensation in the immediate area where the pinched nerve is located. A pinched nerve in your lower back may cause the skin above the area to feel numb or less sensitive to the touch. If the pinched nerve typically sends signals to other parts of the body, like your feet, then you may experience decreased sensation there, too. As you start to heal from a pinched nerve, you will start to regain sensation in the area controlled by the affected nerve.

Improved muscle strength

The pain and discomfort of a pinched nerve can cause part of the body to feel weak. If you are dealing with a pinched nerve in your lower back, then you may notice one or both of your legs don’t feel as strong as normal. The stress and pressure on the nerves that typically send healthy signals to this area can become jumbled and disrupt healthy functioning. Even a simple movement like standing up or walking may be difficult at first. Noticing an improvement in these movements can be a sign of your pinched nerve improving.

Increase in joint mobility

Your mobility can also be negatively impacted by a pinched nerve somewhere in the body. For example, a pinched nerve in your shoulder may cause weakness in your shoulder and arm, making certain movements more difficult. The pain and discomfort of a pinched nerve in your shoulder may make certain movements more difficult. A sign of a pinched nerve healing can be when you start to regain mobility in the affected joint.

Improved range of motion

As you start to regain mobility, you will also likely notice an improvement in your range of motion. A pinched nerve from a shoulder injury may have made it more difficult to fully rotate your shoulder and arm. As the pinched nerve begins to heal, you will start to notice less pain when you try to rotate your shoulder.

Reduced pressure on compressed nerve

You may feel the discomfort of inflammation, swelling, or compression of a nerve that leads to your uncomfortable symptoms. You may be dealing with inflammation after a recent injury or the pressure from poor posture on nearby nerves. Whatever is compressing the nerve will need to be addressed by a comprehensive treatment plan to provide you with lasting relief from your symptoms.

Return comfortably to routines

A pinched nerve can keep you from your daily routines and from participating in sports and other activities you usually enjoy. As you heal from a pinched nerve, you will be able to slowly reintroduce physical activities without making your pain and other symptoms worse. A physical therapist can also help you return comfortably to your routines while you manage and reduce the symptoms of a pinched nerve.

How Long Does a Pinched Nerve Last?

Once you know what signs to look for, you likely want to know how long it takes to heal from a pinched nerve. While it is possible for a pinched nerve to heal on its own, more often than not, a pinched nerve will require treatment from your trusted doctor. A pinched nerve is typically a sign of something else going on in the body, like a herniated disc, poor posture, or a recent injury.

We often get asked, “Can a pinched nerve affect your whole body?” And the answer is yes! Because of the complexity of the nervous system and how everything within your body is connected to everything else, we often see pinched nerves impacting whole-body health and wellness.

Determining “how long do pinched nerves last” will determine the healing and recovery time for your specific symptoms. A doctor will use state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging tools to get a better look at the affected area and determine what is actually causing your nerve pain. Your doctor may recommend a variety of treatment options to help manage your pinched nerve symptoms and support your healing and recovery. Having the answer to, “How long does a pinched nerve last?” can make it easier to navigate treatment with hope and positivity.

Treatment Options for a Pinched Nerve

Your doctor will likely recommend more conservative approaches to treatment for a pinched nerve. Here are common treatment options for a pinched nerve and how to help alleviate your symptoms as efficiently as possible.

At-Home Remedies

One of the best at-home remedies for treating a pinched nerve is rest. While you shouldn’t completely restrict all movement, you want to avoid movements that aggravate the compressed nerve. Overuse injuries or repetitive movements can cause that continue to aggravate a nerve until the swelling goes down. Rest gives your body a chance to address inflammation naturally, which can reduce your symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend wearing a splint during certain activities that continue to aggravate the nerve.

Chiropractic Care

A chiropractor can help alleviate pressure on a nerve that is causing your uncomfortable symptoms. Visit a chiropractor for an all-natural approach to pain management and treatment for a pinched nerve. A chiropractor will use a combination of manual therapies and hands-on techniques to realign your joints and restore healthy functioning to the area. When poor posture is the culprit for your pinched nerve pain, a chiropractor can help restore misalignments in your spine that may be a contributing factor. A chiropractor can also work with you to strengthen the muscles that support your back so you can practice better posture throughout your day.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy will provide you with an exercise-based approach to treating a pinched nerve. A physical therapist will walk you through stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles that surround the pinched nerve. When your muscles are stronger, they are better able to support and stabilize the area where the pinched nerve occurred. This helps to alleviate pressure on the aggravated nerve by better distributing your body weight. A physical therapist can also walk you through techniques and modifications to activities that will help you avoid aggravating the nerve in the future.

Learn More About Pinched Nerve Healing Signs at AICA Snellville 

To learn more about pinched nerve healing signs, visit AICA Orthopedics in Snellville. Our team of multi-specialty doctors includes orthopedic doctors, neurologists, chiropractors, and physical therapists. We offer diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays and MRI scans in-house so you can meet with your doctors and get the scans you need all in one convenient Snellville location. Find lasting relief from a pinched nerve when you work with our team of doctors at AICA Orthopedics in Snellville.


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