The Health Edition

Treatment Options for a Compressed Nerve

A compressed nerve refers to a single nerve or a group of nerves in the body compressed together for any reason. This condition often affects those who spend a lot of time sitting in the same position and those who have poor or bad posture. It can also occur because of repetitive motions that you make during the day. Those who work in manufacturing or retail jobs may suffer from a compressed nerve in the hand because they frequently do the same motion with their hands. When you experience any symptom of a compressed nerve, you need to know what treatment options are available to you.

Steroid Injections

One treatment for a compressed nerve is a steroid injection. The pressure put on the nerve can cause extreme pain as well as some swelling. These injections reduce some of the swelling that you experience, which gives the nerve time to heal on its own. The doctor will keep an eye on your progress and decide what to do next if you experience no relief. You may use these injections in combination with physical therapy that teaches you how to make some lifestyle changes until you recover.

Over the Counter Medications

Your doctor may suggest a treatment plan that includes both over the counter and prescription medications. A prescription for a muscle relaxer helps loosen the muscles around the nerve that might put pressure on it. You can use that pill in combination with a painkiller to reduce your pain. Over the counter medications can provide some relief too, especially anti-inflammatory medications. These medications work in the same way that steroid injections do and will reduce swelling at the same time. Anti-inflammatory pills can help you combat some of the pain that you experience too.


Doctors usually try a number of different compressed nerve treatment options before suggesting surgery. You might attend a few physical therapy sessions and wear a split on the body part that hurts. The split keeps you from moving and can reduce some of the pressure on the nerve. Your doctor may suggest that you make some changes or take some time off work to see if you can recover before recommending surgery, which is often a last resort. Talk with a licensed doctor to find out more about the symptoms of a compressed nerve and treatments for pain and swelling associated with that nerve.