Skip to main content

How to Release a Pinched Nerve in Shoulder

Medically Reviewed by Cellaxys

By Published: April 10, 2024No Comments
how to release a pinched nerve in shoulder
Dr Pouya Mohajer


Medically Reviewed

Published on: April 10, 2024 | Updated on: March 3, 2024

Pinched nerves feel like needles in your body. If you feel sharp or burning sensations in any area, it primarily means that something is compressing your nerves and affecting their normal functioning. 

Nerve pinching in shoulders, or cervical radiculopathy, is usually accompanied by weak muscles and numb arms, all of which make your life quite distressing. The good thing is that you can release a pinched nerve in many natural, non-surgical ways. 

From massage to exercises, a pinched nerve can be easily treated at home. However, if the pain persists, your healthcare provider may recommend regenerative medicine-based treatments: cell-based therapies and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These are pretty effective, with minimal risks, pain, and complications. 

What Is a Pinched Nerve? 

A pinched nerve in the neck is known as cervical radiculopathy. It refers to the constriction and inflammation in any or multiple spinal nerves, leading to severe pain radiating from the neck to the shoulders and down to the arm.

A pinched nerve can cause the following symptoms:

  • Numbness or loss of sensation in the nerves 
  • Sharp pain in the neck, shoulder, and arms 
  • Tingling or burning sensations in the shoulders
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of arm functioning 

What Causes a Pinched Nerve? 

Many degenerative conditions and environmental factors put pressure on the nerves, leading to their irritation and compression. The most common are arthritis, disc herniation, and spondylosis

Our spine has 24 vertebral bones arranged on top of one other. These bones have an intervertebral disc in between, which absorbs shock and trauma. They also protect a network of nerves in the spinal cord from injuries and compression. 

Over time, our discs experience wear and tear and may form bulging, bony structures called bone spurs. They put severe pressure on the nerves and constrict the nerve root, leading to severe pain in the affected part. 

While pinched nerves are common in adults, they can also develop in young individuals who frequently perform sports and extensive workouts. Here are some common causes of a pinched nerve:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone spurs 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Diabetes 
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Repetitive straining of the muscles  
  • A sedentary lifestyle, especially long bed rests 

Releasing a Pinched Nerve in Your Shoulder

Releasing a Pinched Nerve in Your Shoulder

A pinched nerve in the shoulder may seem hard to tolerate initially, but it can quickly be healed with some at-home treatments. In most cases, conservative care would be enough, and you don’t need surgery. 

1. Rest

Rest is the first thing you need to relieve the tingling sensation of a pinched nerve in your shoulder. You should rest your arms and shoulders for a few days to allow the muscles to relax and the nerves to heal. 

Remember, resting doesn’t mean complete bed rest. Instead, it includes limited mobility of both the arm and the shoulder and avoiding sudden movements toward the area with nerve compression. 

2. Ice and Heat Packs 

Inflammation is the primary cause of pinched nerves. You can quickly relieve it through hot and cold therapy. All you have to do is apply the ice and heat packs on your shoulder for at least 20 minutes daily on alternate days. 

This method improves the blood circulation and minimizes swelling in the affected area. 

3. Elevation

Your doctor will also recommend an elevation trick to relieve the pressure from the nerve roots. It includes elevating the arm by resting the hand on your head. 

4. Massage 

Massages are the best way to relax compressed nerves and stiff muscles. Gentle massages improve blood circulation, but don’t go for hard, deep-tissue treatments, as they can work against your healing process. 

5. Stretching

Stretching increases flexibility and reduces stress in the affected neck and shoulder areas. Like massage, be gentle in stretching, too, as overdoing it can pull your muscles and worsen your condition.

Stretches also make a great warm-up option before working out. 

6. Posture Improvement

If you spend most of your time sitting or standing in one position, you’re more likely to compress or irritate your nerves in the shoulder. The best way to prevent it is to improve your posture. 

While you can straighten your back for a better posture, you can also replace your chairs and workstations with something posture-friendly. Add cushions and neck rests to adjust your eye level with the computer screen.

You can also opt for a laptop stand, ergonomic keyboard, mouse, and standing desk. All these things will improve your spine’s flexibility, enhance your back posture, and release pressure from your shoulder nerves. 

7. Physical Therapy

Your doctor may also connect you with a professional physical therapist to help you strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles. The expert will evaluate your shoulder’s condition and recommend you exercise accordingly.

Make sure to only practice low-impact exercises like cycling, walking, or swimming. These activities won’t strain your muscles and relieve pain.

8. Pain-Relieving Medications 

If your shoulder pain becomes intolerable, your doctor will prescribe you some over-the-counter pain relief medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They will aim to reduce the swelling and pain in your shoulders.

Never take any medication without a doctor’s consultation. 

9. Orthobiologic Treatments

Orthobiologic treatments are based on regenerative medicine, a natural solution to replacing damaged tissues and cells with healthy ones from the patient’s own body. At CELLAXYS, we perform two orthobiologic treatments: cell-based therapies and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. 

Unlike surgery, these methods are painless, non-invasive, and less risky. They also have a shorter recovery period, and you may be able to return to normal work in just a few weeks. 

  • Cell-based Therapies. You may know these as stem cell therapy, a procedure in which the doctor extracts healthy cells from the patient’s adipose (fat) tissues (Minimally Manipulated Adipose Tissue Transplant or MMAT) and highly-concentrated cells from the bone marrow (Bone Marrow Concentrate or BMAC). Both methods take about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. 
  • Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy. In PRP, the surgeon takes the patient’s blood sample, isolates platelets, and reinjects them into the injury site. Platelets are the healing components that promote new tissue development and cell regeneration. A high number of platelets in the injury site means quick recovery. PRP takes about 45 minutes to complete.

At CELLAXYS, we meet many patients daily who want to release a pinched nerve in shoulder with orthobiologic methods. All these people leave our clinic satisfactorily and report early, painless recovery. Connect with our board-certified surgeons today to learn more!




CELLAXYS does not offer Stem Cell Therapy as a cure for any medical condition. No statements or treatments presented by Cellaxys have been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This site contains no medical advice. All statements and opinions are provided for educational and informational purposes only.


Privacy Policy

Dr. Pejman Bady began his career over 20 years ago in Family/Emergency Medicine, working in fast-paced emergency departments in Nevada and Kansas. He has served the people of Las Vegas as a physician for over two decades. Throughout this time, he has been met with much acclaim and is now the head of Emergency Medical Services in Nye County, Nevada. More about the doctor on this page.

how to release a pinched nerve in shoulder

Dr Pouya Mohajer


Pouya Mohajer, M.D. is the Director of Spine and Interventional Medicine for CELLAXYS: Age, Regenerative, and Interventional Medicine Centers. He has over 20 years of experience in pain management, perioperative medicine, and anesthesiology. Dr. Mohajer founded and is the Medical Director of Southern Nevada Pain Specialists and PRIMMED Clinics. He has dedicated his career to surgical innovation and scientific advancement. More about the doctor on this page.

Dr. Pejman Bady

Dr. Pejman Bady began his career over 20 years ago in Family/Emergency Medicine, working in fast-paced emergency departments in Nevada and Kansas. He has served the people of Las Vegas as a physician for over two decades. Throughout this time, he has been met with much acclaim and is now the head of Emergency Medical Services in Nye County, Nevada. More details about the doctor on this page.


View Our Treatments
Schedule today!