Impinged, or pinched, nerves at the C5 vertebra (in the neck) of your spinal column can cause shoulder pain. Most often, a pinched nerve is signified by numbness, tingling, pain and/or muscle weakness that starts in the neck and travels to the shoulder and possibly down the arm. These symptoms may worsen when coughing, sneezing or making strenuous movements. Pinched nerve pain may be relieved and prevented with surgery, medications and various exercises. Always check with a medical professional to determine the extent of any injury or before starting an exercise program.
Nerves require blood and oxygen, which are more actively pumped through your body during aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise helps get your heart rate elevated and increases blood and oxygen flow throughout your body. Being active and engaging in any aerobic activity will help keep your nerves healthy and prevent them from becoming impinged; it will also help heal impinged nerves that may be causing you shoulder pain.
Cervical Flexion and Extension
The cervical flexion and extension exercise will help get blood flowing to the cervical vertebrae and help possibly release a pinched nerve. To do the exercise, gently tuck your chin to your chest and then slowly look up to the ceiling. Repeat this exercise 5 times. Do this and the following exercises slowly.
The lateral flexion exercise will also help increase blood flow and loosen impinged nerves. To complete this exercise, tilt your head to the left and try to touch your ear to your shoulder; then tilt it to the right and try to touch your right ear to your shoulder. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
Rotation of the Cervical Spine
This exercise is helpful for various types of neck pain or pinched nerves causing shoulder pain and discomfort. To do the exercise, slowly turn your head and try to look over your left shoulder. Hold this position for 3 to 6 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat this exercise 5 times.