Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: pinched nerve-- ice or heat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    PA/ DE
    Posts
    4,830

    pinched nerve-- ice or heat?

    I can't seem to find a definitive answer. I have a pinched nerve in my neck and acetaminophen is helping a little with the nasty pain, and I'm limiting my daily activities as not to aggravate, but I would like to try either an ce pack or a heating pad to see if that helps. Has anyone had this problem and which has helped you?

    Thanks!
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Heading WEST!!
    Posts
    15,415
    Depends on how recent the injury....and not sure if pinched nerves fall in to the category.
    Heat makes things expand and ice/cold shrinks things but a pinched nerve is ...well...pinched. Assuming it is between a disk in the spine, unpinching it would be the answer.

    If injuries are recent, the acronym is RICE, (rest, ice and elevate)...
    if the injury is older, they typically say try heat first.

    Hope you are feeling better and be mindful how much tylenol you take...it can ruin livers.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    PA/ DE
    Posts
    4,830
    Thanks, wallycat. I first felt this a couple of weeks ago (thought I had "slept funny") and it was very minor, but in the past couple of days the pain has become quite nasty. I first took the acetaminophen last night and it did help me to sleep better (although only for about 5 hours before I woke up and had to take a couple of more). I'll do this again tonight, too, but I try to take nothing during the day. That's when I think that the heat or ice will help. I'll try the heat first, see what happens.
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Near my friends.
    Posts
    8,957
    I have a pinched nerve in my lower back that catches from time to time, when I overdo it. HEAT is what works best for me. So glad for heated seats in my car, when it is flared up!
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,198
    I had neck issues several years back that I went to my chiropractor for. He told me to use ice on it, but I never felt much relief from that. I preferred heat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Peachtree City,GA
    Posts
    981
    If I remember correctly, acetaminophen is a pain reliever/fever reducer with only a mild anti-inflammatory effect. I wonder if you'd be better off taking an NSAID like ibuprofen or naproxen, if you don't have trouble with those.
    Alpogoalie: Any dog smart enough to use its paw to pin down a dog dish.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    5,772
    I was just about to say what Mary Ann said... If you don't have troubles from taking NSAIDS they're more likely to help the inflammation and pain.
    "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    PA/ DE
    Posts
    4,830
    Thanks, guys.

    I'm using heat and it feels good, but I need 2 or 3 heating pads-- moving it from lower neck to shoulder to elbow takes too much effort!

    Since I only have the acetaminophen on hand, I'll be going out tomorrow morning and pick up ibuprofen. Hopefully it will work better... I appreciate the information.
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    20,791
    I use Aleve for my neck and shoulder problems and sometimes a prescription. The Aleve is good for 12 hours and the prescription for 24, so on top of being anti-inflammatory and actually helping to reduce the inflammation and help at the root of your pain, they also last longer and help you keep a steadier level of relief.

    You might also try a muscle rub -- I can't remember any brands other than BenGay, but I use a generic cream (be sure to wash your hands well after applying and be careful about touching your face for a while) and a roll-on that is not as potent, but gives a nice gentle heat and doesn't have the lingering smell of the cream. I think it is called Zim's Max Freeze. Just be careful about using any rub with a heating pad -- you can get burned or irritated skin from trying to do too much at once.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    PA/ DE
    Posts
    4,830
    What a difference a couple of days make. The heat no longer works, actually it now makes the areas hurt even more, so I'm using ice packs which are working for now. The ibuprofen seems to be working only as well as the acetaminophen did, so I'll pick up some Aleve tomorrow (thanks for that recommendation, Beth).

    I've not felt such awful, constant pain since my shoulder was "frozen" years ago. I was able to get an appointment to see a chiropractor tomorrow morning, so hopefully this will be my last sleepless night...
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Heading WEST!!
    Posts
    15,415
    I wish I knew what kind of pain you have. I had such incredible pain directly after my bx mastectomy...i swear I cried wanting to die, never mind the worry of dying from cancer .
    I suffered for 3 days in horror and sobbing pain and my surgeon suggested a physical therapist. I laughed and did not think anything would work but it was something to do....In less than 5 minutes, the exercise she made me do (and the little rope thingie with a wheel) resolved the pain. In FIVE minutes. NOT kidding...if this is what you have, it is just a matter of lifting your arm directly above you with NO movement either way. The cheap equipment hung over the door replicates it perfectly.

    If the chiro does nothing, schedule PT....very worth it! Hope you are doing better soon.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    PA/ DE
    Posts
    4,830
    Wallycat, what you went through sounds so awful. I got teary this afternoon, in both pain and frustration. I know exactly what kind of exercise you did with the wheel, both of my shoulders "froze" (years apart, thankfully) and it helped tremendously with the rehab. So simple, yet...

    I thought it was weird that, if I raise my arm, the shooting pain diminishes but then read somewhere online that this is typical of the compression of a certain set of nerves (the arm-raising alleviates pressure). So any sleep I get recently is when my arm is flung up over my head!

    12 hours and 2 minutes to appointment time and I cannot wait.
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Near my friends.
    Posts
    8,957
    I hope that you are able to report back with some good news.
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    PA/ DE
    Posts
    4,830
    My first visit to a chiropractor. Bone-cracking aside*, it wasn't a bad experience and I now have some relief. Not a lot, but I'm not constantly trying to find a pain-free position, or clutching my arm and rocking back and forth...

    Ice was recommended and it's working, and I am now taking Aleve (although it seems to be working only as well as the ibuprofen and acetaminophen did). The pain does seem to have lessened since yesterday, and I can only hope that tomorrow is a little less, and so on. I have another appointment with him on Tues.

    Thanks for all of your advice. I also tried something called IcyHot and while it felt good, it was only temporary. Ice deos seem to be the best for this.

    *-ps, I know that it wasn't actually bone cracking but that's what it sounded like and it startled me quite a bit!
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,857
    I know it sounds like cracking! I call it crunching -- same sound!

    Isn't it amazing what a relief it can be? Of course, it's not full relief instantly, especially if it's been a while since the injury, but it sure is better than taking pills! (Except for pain killers) My DM used to say that there's not a pill in the world that can move a bone back where it's supposed to be!

    I'm glad you have some relief, and it will keep getting better!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    716
    I had a really bad pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder area a few years ago and when I tried a Chiropractor, they could only do acupuncture to try to help relieve the pain. That and a massage did no good. I eventually had to go to regular doctor for Celebrex and a muscle relaxer as I was having spasms from it. I was told to use ice and did. I had a tennis elbow type pain as well and 2 fingers were numb. Mine was caused from inflammation in the muscle that pressed on the nerve causing the pinching. Therefore ice was better as it shrinks muscle while heat would expand muscle. I hope you are better now.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    PA/ DE
    Posts
    4,830
    The pain returned with a vengeance on Sunday, so I saw my pcp today and was diagnosed with a herniated cervical disc.

    Prednisone started, pt ordered, and another appt with the chiro tomorrow should start to set things right. Now, to research and figure out a way to prevent this from ever happening again!
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    In
    Posts
    5,908
    Last Thanksgiving I started having horrible pain in my lower back and down my leg. I called the doc on Wednesday evening, got some prednisone, and, wow! What a relief to have the pain gone. It did take a few days, but it was gone. Wishing you speedy relief!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •