Pinching the brachial nerve: a little trouble or a serious pathology?


If a radial nerve is strangled, only a doctor can help. It does not hurt to pre-recall what preceded the appearance of pain.

Causes of pathology

The mechanism of formation of the disease state is simple – the muscles and tissues surrounding the radial nerve squeeze the nerve bundles. There are pain in the course of the movement of the nerve – neuralgia. The reasons for its appearance are varied:

  • Improper posture during sleep. In the people, this condition is referred to as the expression “laid hand.”
  • The variation of the previous paragraph, called the “wedding night syndrome”. During sleep, the spouse (partner) or partner weighs on the limb with the weight of his body, causing a pinched nerve in the shoulder joint.
  • Excessive physical activity during work or sports.
  • Shoulder injuries of various origins. For example, rupture of the acromion joint.
  • Complications after surgery on the upper limb or poorly performed injections in this area.
  • Oncologic neoplasms in the neck, shoulder, or armpit area. A growing tumor squeezes nearby areas.
  • A number of diseases of the central (CNS).
  • Lead poisoning, which adversely affects the work of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Curvature of the spine, stoop regardless of age.

Clinical picture

When the nerve of the shoulder joint is clamped, the symptoms resemble neuritis – an inflammatory process, and this is a much more serious pathology. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between neurological syndrome (neuralgia) and disease (neuritis).

But delayed or inadequately conducted treatment leads to inflammatory processes – simple infringement develops into neuritis. To avoid this situation, it is necessary to pay attention to the characteristic symptoms in time and go to the doctor.

Signs of a neurological problem manifest themselves differently in patients, but one thing remains common – the characteristic pain that significantly reduces the quality of life. The nature of the pain also varies – it can be acute and paroxysmal, dull and aching, with varying degrees of intensity. The patient guesses that the cause of severe pain is most likely to be a pinching of the nerve of the shoulder joint.

Attacks of pain are accompanied by increased sweating, as well as muscle weakness. Sometimes there is a tingling sensation in the affected limb, a spasm develops, unpleasant twitching of the muscles is felt. The skin in the place of the shoulder, where the pinched radial nerve occurred, can change its color. There are two options here: the skin either fades or persistent redness (hyperemia) is observed.

In the morning and at night, many patients experience a feeling of “crawling goosebumps”, which is replaced by complete numbness of the fingers. Medium, index and big fingers are mainly affected. If the arm is in a half-bent state, then it is hardly possible to bend it.

Pinching the brachial nerve: a little trouble or a serious pathology?Read also … Why a pinched nerve appeared in the elbow joint and how to get rid of it

The further life of a person, whose radial nerve is trapped by muscle or bone tissue, is not threatened. It should be understood that the neglected disease can lead to the most unpleasant consequences – muscular atrophy and the complete immobility of the injured limb. Just as the facial nerve is responsible for the action of the muscles of the face, the radial provides the motor function of the hand.


Effectively to treat a pinched nerve can only be subject to early treatment in a medical institution. Consultation should take place at the surgeon or neuropathologist. The doctor will do the initial examination and collect the history of the disease. It is desirable for the patient to remember the circumstances in which the pain arose, as it manifested itself from the moment it appeared until it arrived at the hospital.

If necessary, the doctor will prescribe an additional examination using the method of X-ray. The procedure will eliminate a serious injury, such as a fracture. After diagnosis, treatment is appropriate for the situation.


Tactics of patient management is determined individually. Surgical intervention is performed only in the most extreme cases, as a rule, we are talking about a conservative way of solving a neurological problem. If the integrity of the nerve is broken, no surgical intervention is necessary.

Conservative therapy involves the following:

  • removal of edema from nearby tissues;
  • elimination of muscle spasm;
  • anesthesia;
  • a course directed against inflammatory processes.

The development of pathology leads to the fact that the tissue surrounding the injured area, swell. This fact exacerbates rehabilitation. Therefore, the first thing prescribed drugs against edema and antispasmodics. Thanks to them, cellular nutrition (trophic) and innervation are improved. Edema relieves diuretic (diuretic) drugs: Furosemide, Lasix, herbal preparations that have a diuretic effect.

Among the antispasmodics, Drotaverinum, Spazmalgon and Tempalgin have proven themselves well. An additional positive effect will give drugs that reduce . Doctors prescribe Nurofen, Ibuprofen, and other drugs with a similar effect.

The duration of therapy depends on the nature of the disease and the individual characteristics of the patient. Medications should be selected only by the attending physician. It is better not to engage in self-diagnosis and self-treatment in this case. Often, the doctor prescribes additional physiotherapy procedures to speed up the healing process.


Best results in terms of rehabilitation can be achieved through additional procedures. Among them, UHF-therapy, acupuncture, balneotherapy and magnetic resonance therapy stand out. Positive dynamics is observed with electrical stimulation and mud wraps.

For the entire period of recovery, the patient is strictly prohibited physical exercise on the affected limb and its hypothermia. Only with careful implementation of all prescriptions of the doctor can we count on an early amendment. If therapeutic physical training is prescribed, then classes should be conducted in a medical institution under the supervision of an experienced health worker.

Folk recipes to help

Supporters of traditional medicine are aware of a huge variety of natural medicines that can deal with the effects of pinching at home. Their use is permissible, but only after prior consultation with your doctor. First of all, we are talking about tinctures, decoctions and liniment, used only externally.

A decoction of wormwood will cope with unpleasant pain:

  1. For its preparation will need boiled and 20 grams of dry wormwood.
  2. The specified amount of dry matter is brewed in 300 ml of water and allowed to infuse for 2 hours.
  3. The finished solution is applied to the painful part of the shoulder and rubbed with slow movements into the skin.

Attacks of pain and general stress of the patient’s body relieve herbal baths. The combination of sea salt, chamomile or sage decoction gives excellent results. For one procedure, you will need the following:

  • water with a temperature not higher than 38-39 ° C;
  • liter of concentrated chamomile broth (sage);
  • up to 50 g of sea salt.

The time of reception of the bathroom should not exceed 10-15 minutes. The use of coniferous extracts during infringement also gives good results.

Swelling of the tissue on the arm and the inflammatory process can be removed with the help of a special tea. Its structure should include leaves and berries of lingonberry, strawberry and raspberry. Excellent taste and diuretic effect are easily provided by such tea.

If a nerve is pinched in the shoulder, beekeeping products will be helpful in the fight against the consequences. Wraps with the use of natural honey give a good result, but a greater effect can be achieved through applications of olive oil and propolis. Tincture for applications is alcohol:

  1. For its preparation will need 50 ml of medical and 15 g of propolis.
  2. The mixture of ingredients should be infused for two weeks.
  3. Next, it should be filtered and mixed with olive oil.
  4. The proportion will be as follows: 50 ml of oil for every 10 ml of tincture.
  5. From the finished drug make night compresses on the affected area of ​​the body.


It is possible to use inexpensive folk remedies, but it is worth remembering about the prevention of brachial neuralgia. All the considered methods are effective, but only on the condition of regular exercise and physical therapy. An important factor will be weight loss, prevention of spinal curvature, the development of flexibility.

The radial nerve clamped in the shoulder region may eventually trigger inflammatory processes. Their main symptom will be severe pain in the upper limb. Prevent dystrophic processes and loss of hand functionality is possible only with proper diagnosis and timely treatment. Therefore, at the first manifestations of the problem, you should immediately consult a doctor.

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