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A pinched nerve in the shoulder can cause pain, numbness, and tingling sensations. It can also make it difficult to move the arm and shoulder. In some cases, a pinched nerve may even lead to paralysis. There are many potential causes of a pinched nerve in the shoulder, including a herniated disc, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and sports injuries. The most common treatment for a pinched nerve is surgery. However, several exercises can help relieve the symptoms of a pinched nerve.

So, if you are looking for some relief from a pinched nerve in the shoulder, here are ten stretches that may help.

What is a Pinched Nerve?

When a nerve becomes compressed or irritated, this is called a pinched nerve. The term “pinched” inaccurately describes the condition of the nerve but has become associated with a range of symptoms. Nerves can be pinched in various places throughout the body; when it occurs in the neck, medical professionals call it cervical radiculopathy.

Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, hands, or arms are all symptoms of a pinched nerve. Pinched nerves frequently develop with age or as a result of arthritis or spine damage.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, people with pinched nerves should exercise despite pain and tingling. The reason is that remaining sedentary can worsen the symptoms by causing tension and wasting in closeby muscles.

Side Bends

Side bends aid in the reduction of neck and back tension while also increasing strength. Here’s how to perform a side bend:

  • Stand with your hands clasped over your head.
  • Keep your head and neck aligned.
  • Gently tilt your body from side to side, avoiding any movement that might bend or arch your back.
  • Repeat ten times.
  • Add handheld weights for a more intense workout.


The nerves and muscles in the lower body are particularly susceptible to wear and tear when people sit for long periods of time, especially if they have their legs crossed. Therefore, instead of remaining in one position for lengthy periods of time, take frequent strolls.

  • For every hour you spend sitting, try to walk around the home or workplace for 10 minutes.
  • Keep the head in a neutral position to get the most out of your walking and assist with a pinched nerve.
  • The ears should be level with the shoulders, and the jaw should be loose, not tight.

Shoulder rolls

The shoulders can be exercised by moving them. It may also help to relieve headaches caused by pinched nerves and muscle tightness. To work the shoulders, do the following:

  • Raise your shoulders in a circular motion for 30 seconds.
  • Rest for a few seconds.
  • Next, push the shoulders forward and up toward the ears, then back down and back to bring the shoulder blades together.
  • Repeat this sequence three times in each direction.

Child’s Pose

People often use Yoga to slowly move their bodies through a large number of positions while focusing on contracting each muscle group. This makes it an excellent low-impact choice for people struggling with pain. Child’s Pose is a tremendous yoga position for those with pinched nerves. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by sitting on the heels of a mat, with the tops of the feet flat against the floor.
  • Continue to move the body back, bringing it up against the thighs.
  • Reach your arms straight out above your head, keeping your hands flat on the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.


If you want to reduce muscle tension and numbness produced by nerves, you may want to consider adding twists to your routine. To do a twist:

  • Make sure you are seated comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight.
  • Adjust your hand position to the side of your left knee and twist gently to the left with your right hand.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then return to facing forward.
  • Then, do the same stretches on the other side by placing your left hand on your right knee.

Neck Tilts

This stretch the muscles at the back of the neck. To perform this stretch:

  • Pull your chin in toward your neck while standing or sitting in a neutral position.
  • Reach your chin up and back, feeling the stretch in the neck.
  • Next, slowly raise your head until you are looking at the ceiling. Push your chin outwards so that it is parallel to the floor.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Head Turns

A head turn can help a person regain range of motion, but it might be difficult at first. To perform a head turn, take the following steps:

  • Sit or stand in a neutral posture, then turn the head to one side to look over the shoulder.
  • Hold this position for 7 seconds.
  • Return your head to its natural position.
  • Turn it to the other side.
  • Repeat 8 times.

Median Slider

The median nerve travels from the shoulder down to the wrist. A person may try a median nerve slider to alleviate discomfort and numbness:

  • Begin in a neutral sitting posture.
  • Place your palm in front of your face and focus on it.
  • Next, extend your arm to the side, so your fingers are pointing toward the ceiling. Your wrist should be below your shoulders.
  • Look at the hand as it moves.
  • Return to the initial position.
  • Do the same thing on the other side.

Median Rocking

This workout can also help with a pinched nerve. To do it:

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed forward.
  • Put your palm together in a “praying” position, with your fingers pointing up.
  • Keep your elbows high and wrists low until your lower arms are close to the floor.
  • Push your elbows as far right as possible, then left.
  • Repeat 8 times.

Towel Sliders

The ulnar nerve runs from the neck to the hand. It’s the nerve that causes a sensation of discomfort in the “funny bone.” A person may use ulnar nerve towel sliders to relieve pinched nerve symptoms by:

  • Take one end of a towel in the hand closest to the pinched nerve, and place it by your head.
  • Drop the remaining portion of the towel behind your back and take hold of it with the other hand near your lower back.
  • Using the top hand, pull the towel as high as you can with minimal resistance.
  • Use your bottom hand to pull the rope back down.
  • Instead of holding the stretch at the top or bottom, keep your arms moving for 30 seconds.


Stretches and exercises can help relieve pain from a pinched nerve. A person should talk to their doctor before trying any of these methods. If the pain does not improve, it may be necessary to see a physical therapist or other medical professionals.

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