How to treat a trapped nerve

A trapped nerve, or nerve compression syndrome, is a medical condition caused by direct pressure on a single nerve. The pain tends to increase with time so there's normally plenty of warning. There are lots of things you can try to make yourself feel better, and then there are other treatments to remove the condition.


The symptoms differ depending on which nerve it is and how severely it’s affected. Symptoms include a slight tingling feeling at first which can lead to neuropathic pain. A reduction in sensation or total numbness can follow. Ultimately this leads to muscle weakness which is normally noticed later on.


When the problem is caused by an underlying condition the treatment is normally directed at this condition. A trapped nerve can be the result of weight gain. If so, then the treatment will be directed towards losing weight. In pregnant woman, the condition can happen during delivery. In this case, there’s normally no treatment.


Some patients find that they need surgery, particularly those with carpal tunnel syndrome. The severity of the symptoms are used to determine if surgery is necessary, as is the risk of surgery to the patient and the prognosis if the problem goes untreated. For some patients, the nerve will never recover properly so some symptoms may remain.

Brace or splint

If the symptoms aren't all that bad and you need some relief from them, you may want to consider using a brace or splint to immobilise the injured area. This would definately help if the wrist or elbow is the affected area.

Rest and relaxation

Getting rest and changing your routine are the first things anyone can do to help the symptoms of a trapped nerve to abate. A hot bath to relax the muscles will also increase blood flow. A heat pad will do the same job is the affected area's not too large.

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