Pinched Nerve in Shoulder – Causes and Treatment

A spinal nerve root may become pinched or trapped and can lead to pain and other symptoms. When this nerve is located in the cervical spine region of the spinal column, it can affect the neck, upper back and shoulders.

The nerves of each shoulder run along the back to connect to the spinal cord, and ultimately to the central nervous system. They can become pinched or irritated as they run from the spinal column or neck towards the shoulder. This can also be referred to as cervical radiculopathy.

Why a nerve becomes pinched

Nerve roots in the spinal column can become trapped due to a variety of reasons, with the most common ones including:

  • Poor posture due to sitting down for long periods of time, which can compress the spine, and ultimately place pressure on the nerves, irritating them.
  • Shoulder pain from a pinched nerve can also be caused by a herniated disk. The spinal disc may press onto the nerve connecting to the shoulder.
  • Bone spurs have a similar effect as disc problems. They are bony overgrowths on the spinal column that can grow in such a way that they obstruct the space dedicated for the nerve roots that run to the shoulders.
  • An injury to the shoulder that damages the nerve roots in the cervical spine, especially those that connect to the shoulders.
  • Degenerative changes in the spine, such as disc degeneration or regular age-related wear and tear of the spinal structures.
  • Spinal compression, which results in the compression of the vertebrae (bones that make up the spinal column), which in itself can cause spinal structures to press against one another, and may irritate the nerves, leading to pain.
  • Engaging in repetitive motions that repeatedly place strain on one or both shoulders.

In more severe cases, it might be caused by more serious issues such as fractures, which can cause extreme pain and visible inflammation and deformation at the affected site.


Having a pinched nerve in the shoulder, back or neck may lead to:

  • Neck and shoulder pain and numbness.
  • Muscle weakness in the shoulder and upper back, especially if an injury or soft tissue damage occurred, that also affects the nerves of the shoulder and spine.
  • Discomfort in one or both shoulders.

The pain, weakness and numbness sensations may radiate to the arms, or even hands and fingers


The treatment options for a pinched nerve in the neck may vary depending on the cause, as well as the severity of the symptoms. In a large number of cases, this can be addressed through nonsurgical treatments such as:

  • Resting, in order to allow the shoulder to heal.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication to temporarily relieve the pain while the nerve heals.
  • Using an ice pack to decrease inflammation and relieve pain locally. It can be used by itself or in parallel with hot fomentation to increase the pain-relieving effects.
  • Using a special brace to keep your neck from moving (provided that the pinched nerve is close to the neck), called a cervical collar.
  • Improving your posture, especially if you are prone to slouching. This can be achieved through muscle strengthening exercises as well as spinal decompression exercises.
  • Engaging in physical therapy, which can help reduce stiffness and re-mobilise the shoulder(s).
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights that require the use of the affected shoulder.
  • Getting a gentle massage that helps relieve the pressure placed on your upper back and shoulders.
  • Using a spinal decompression device, such as the Spinal Backrack to decompress the spine and shoulders, and remove any shoulder or neck pain, stiffness, or numbness through simple exercises.

Backrack Spinal Decompression for Complete Back and shoulder Pain Relief

The Backrack is an orthopaedic device that safely and effectively decompresses your spine, providing long-term relief and prevention from back and neck pain caused by a pinched nerve. Given its design, it targets the entire length of the spine, ensuring that any trapped nerve along the back is relieved. It is 100% natural, comfortable, and free of side-effects. Thousands of people have already seen its benefits, so why not be one of them?

The benefits of spinal decompression

Spinal decompression can be effectively helpful when it comes to a pinched nerve, as these tend to occur due to compression of the (cervical) spine, which entails the vertebrae becoming squashed and pressing against each other. As the spine loses height due to compression, nerve roots within the spine may not have enough space and can become irritated due to other spinal structures pressing against them. This is how nerves can become trapped.


Spinal decompression therapy helps reverse this process, stretching and re-lengthening the spine to its original dimensions, allowing structures in the spine to have sufficient space and not impinge on one another, which is what may lead to pain, especially in the case of pinched nerves.


This method is suitable for relieving mild to moderate pain, but there are some exceptions with regards to who can use it. For example, people who have a spinal fracture should not engage in this kind of therapy.


Instead, if you suffer from one such fracture, seek medical advice as soon as possible. The doctor may recommend various imaging scans, such as X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans to confirm or disprove the existence of a fracture. Surgery may or may not be required in this case, but treatment will largely differ on an individual basis.

Latest Posts

Sign up our newsletter to get article update about backrack therapy.

Learn how to fix back pain.