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Any Help with a Pinched Nerve?

 
master pollinator
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I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder and NOTHING has worked.

Katie gives me a neck/shoulder rub nightly, but it still is bothering me, and has for over a week. I am taking (3) ibrophrophen about every 4 hours and have for days. I also have resorted to taking Flexerall...which I abhor...but must take. I only take 1/4 of a pill because I hate that pill so bad, but I am in shear pain.

It is in a strange spot, starting at my collar bone and going down to my shoulder blade. It just "clunks and grinds" when Katie tries to massage it. Any ideas?
 
pollinator
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Travis, please be careful with ibuprofen! I took it for half a year (about 1600 mg per day, so high doses) because of an autoimmune problem that caused me great pain and it seemed the only over the counter medication that worked... And it also nearly killed my liver! Liver is sort of OK again now, but that took almost a year of recovery after I completely stopped taking it.
 
Rene Nijstad
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Thinking about it a little more... The autoimmune problem I had was also nerve related. The doc prescribed me vitamin B injections to help nerve recovery and he gave me some type of long term anestesia injected in the nerve "knots" in my lower back where the problem seemed to have originated. This relaxed the nerves and the vitamin B assisted the repair process. I had to take two treatments and it quickly got better, but I would say for only 95%...
 
gardener
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St. John's Wort tincture, all over the area including the neck and down the spine a bit.  Apply, lightly massage in, let dry.  Repeat over and over for about an hour and see if it feels different.

If you don't have St. John's Wort tincture, then arnica tincture can also work.  If you have both you can combine them.  St. Johnnies is particularly good for pinched nerves though.

I'm so sorry.  Can you move your arm?  There is a phenomenon called "Frozen Shoulder Syndrome" that is very painful and sounds similar.  If this is that, St John's wort will likely help a bit, but you may benefit from more physical help.  A friend of mine developed this condition, and he is a massage therapist, so he knew a lot of techniques to try to deal with it.  But after a month of this and many sorts of treatments -  and it was agonizing pain - he finally tried a rolfer and she fixed it in a couple sessions.  It was much better in the first session but took 2 or 3 to fully resolve, and then he was fine.

Rolfing is wonderful.  Please don't let anyone scare you away from it. People (who often have never tried it) sometimes say the strangest things about how painful it is... I love to tell them how my 99 year old Grandmother loved getting rolfed.  It helped her immensely.
 
pollinator
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Kim, arnica and stjohn are great in massage oil, but if you're in the country site it might be easier to make your own out of rosemary if you have a shrub of it that is. You can make it in a minute. Just pick some, and heat it up in sun flower oil, au bain marie. 10 minutes done.
But that will only relieve, not heal a trapped nerve. Then i would look into trigger point massage, which is an ancient technique from the far east. You press certain points in muscles you have to find on the body and push them. You can look up online where these points are situated."triggerpoints massage shoulder blade" as search term
Clunks and grinds points to a dislocated shoulder, which happens quite a lot to some people. But that needs to be put back in place by a doctor.
 
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Trapped nerves suck! I've had a couple and totally sympathise. The way I got them untrapped was to find which nerve and do stretches with it every few hours - you could stretch it every hour, the more the better. Looking online for stretches can be helpful - other people will have trapped that same place. Basically you slowly, gently stretch against the restriction as far as you can, in as many ways as you can (compare with how the other shoulder stretches).
Re ibuprofen that's the right choice for pain relief but don't forget to only ever have it with food and cut back on it as soon as possible - definitely a short duration med. I've had a friend mess up her stomach lining with prescribed dose.
 
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A handy dandy chiropractor and 1 minute of neurostructural therapy would probably make it disappear right quick.  Guessing that is not an option.  There are two things you might do to relieve it yourself.

-  Think about when it started or what cause might be associated with that particular pain and don't do that for awhile :)

-  Often there is a knotted muscle causing the pain.  Often the knot can be felt with a finger, depending on how deep or large the knot is.  Whichever side the pain is on, gently let - don't make - let your head tilt toward that shoulder.  Lay the fingers of the opposite hand flatly - don't use fingertips - on the sore spot, and gently, slowly compress with the whole middle finger.  Not being funny ^.^. The index and ring fingers on either side can help a little, but don't mash or poke it down with all three because that will make it worse.  This has to be a very gentle compression.  Hold it about 15 seconds while taking a few deep breaths from the belly.  Release compression slowly.  Tilt your head gently, slowly to one side, then the other.  Now let your head tilt very slightly toward the opposite shoulder just enough to feel the tension pull.  Lay the middle finger across the sore spot and while tiling your head toward your shoulder press with the middle finger very lightly.  It should feel as if your finger were being folded between your neck and shoulder and go slow.

Works better if someone else lifts your head and compresses while you're lying down so the action is entirely passive and not straining the sore muscles.  However, I have done this alone and made it work.  First time there should be a small relief.  A few minutes later it should be slightly less painful again.

If this does ease the tension, don't compress over and over because that can bring it back.  The idea is to disrupt the pain signal long enough for your brain to tell muscles to quit tightening.  2-3 times max.  More can make it start to tighten again.  Unless you're lucky or I've been doing it wrong :)  Really though, the pain should begin to ease after the first compression.  Pain won't subside entirely, but it can be substantially diminished.  If it isn't exacerbated for a few days, it shouldn't come back unless what caused it happens again.

If you look up exercises for "thoracic outlet syndrome", you should find this compression technique, and perhaps others.  This exercise alone has been all I've needed.  Usually when this happens to me, it's because I was reading or sleeping with my neck crooked for too long.
 
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I know this sounds weird and extreme, but it worked for me. I used to get a pinched nerve almost exactly like you describe and it would occasionally act up for unknown reasons. I attributed it to an old wrestling injury from high school. Here's what I did, I stopped eating for a few days at a time. At first all of my old injuries started hurting again and I felt like a creaky old man, but after about a month of skipping 3-4 consecutive days a week with nothing but water, black coffee, and tea, I haven't had the pain anymore(knock on wood). I lost some weight, saved money on food, and didn't have to pop pills, so I consider it a win. Other guys I work with seem to think these old injuries start hurting in the fall because as it gets cooler they forget drink enough water. Sorry you're having to deal with this.
 
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Travis, try a Tim Tam or similar.  Tim Tam recently raised their prices from 170 to over 400 dollars.  There are lots of alternatives on Amazon.  In addition to farming I spend a lot of time lifting bench press, pullovers all stuff up around the neck and shoulders for masters track and field and get a lot of boo boos.  You find those knots and then work them with the machine and try and keep a smile on your face.  It works.  I've tried arnica, red cabbage, dmso and nothing will fix it like this little machine.  Originally some smart person put a ball on the end of a jigsaw and this is the end result.  I know its not sustainable but when it hurts to pull weeds you gotta do something.  As Daniel suggests fasting probably helps a lot.  I intermittant fast in the hope that it will activate sirtuins and other functions that will help in the healing process.  Heading over to Washington County on Monday to start looking for property.  Good luck.
 
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there is a type of massage called Rolfing , that just might help,
beware the Rolfing massage is more painful than a pinched nerve but once done you will be back to normal
 
gardener
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Travis,  I hear you about the Flexerall.  I broke my neck when I was 15 (walked away, no collar, halo, etc.  did not know it was broken for 6 weeks!).  Periodically it flares up by giving me a monstrous stiff neck—as in I sometimes can’t move my head to the left or right.

I kinda need flexerall during these episodes.  First time I took one it made me downright stupid!  Slow, groggy, hard to think or concentrate.  Given I am a teacher this is a bad way to look in front of a class!

I am not certain how you got those pills cut into quarters, but I certainly understand your motivation for doing so.  Yuck!

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

So I have some back issues in addition to neck issues.  At the moment the weather is gorgeous, but snow/rain is due tomorrow.  I want to finish bush hogging, maybe 20 minutes worth, but my back is acting up.  I had to take ibuprofen (4!) and flexeril.  The flexeril makes me stupididier!  I want to go bush hog and get some tractor time, but I won’t be safe for another hour or so.

I know all to well the discomforting feeling if being flexeriled.

Eric
 
Travis Johnson
master pollinator
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Ed Waters wrote:Travis, try a Tim Tam or similar.  Tim Tam recently raised their prices from 170 to over 400 dollars.  There are lots of alternatives on Amazon.  In addition to farming I spend a lot of time lifting bench press, pullovers all stuff up around the neck and shoulders for masters track and field and get a lot of boo boos.  You find those knots and then work them with the machine and try and keep a smile on your face.  It works.  I've tried arnica, red cabbage, dmso and nothing will fix it like this little machine.  Originally some smart person put a ball on the end of a jigsaw and this is the end result.  I know its not sustainable but when it hurts to pull weeds you gotta do something.  As Daniel suggests fasting probably helps a lot.  I intermittant fast in the hope that it will activate sirtuins and other functions that will help in the healing process.  Heading over to Washington County on Monday to start looking for property.  Good luck.



It is slowly getting better. Katie keeps rubbing it, and I favor it a little bit, but drinking a lot more water has helped.

It is really dry in this house with the stove going 24/7 now, and I have not logged much because of all the heavy weather. I keep a jug of water on the skidder, so every now and then I chug down some fluids, but since I have not logged, I got away from that, and I think that contributed to my problem. I am pretty sure wielding a big chainsaw in the woods has not helped my shoulder either, not to mention tugging on winch cables and chokers.

As for Washington County...they have cheap land, but pick wisely, they are a very impoverished place so it is a rough place for sure. I live in Waldo County and it is not much better here. I think we are #3 in terms of the worst county for drugs in the USA, but Washington County is worse. But it is funny, I just found out that the town adjacent to me is the poorest town in all of the United States.
 
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