Pinched Nerve In Shoulder

Pinched Nerve In Shoulder

February 07, 2011
Was very interested to read your story as I have had the same experience.

Fourteen years ago after surgery to remove an ovarian cyst I experienced a severe migraine whilst in recovery. After that I lost strength in the ‘pointer’ finger of my left hand – I couldn’t spray my deodorant. When I mentioned this to my surgeon he didn’t seem to think there was any connection.

Over the next seven years the muscle in my left hand wasted away then, when I became pregnant the doc said I had carpal tunnel. A specialist said it wasn’t carpal tunnel and I was sent to a neurologist for testing. (Horrible!) He said I “probably” had a pinched nerve in my shoulder and said I could have surgery to prevent further damage although it would not help the damage that was already done.

Just recently I have noticed further weakening in my ring finger and would like to try the exercises you mention.

Can you describe the exercises or do I need to see a physio?

Thank you,



  1. says

    I assume when you say “Horrible” about the testing at the neurologist your talking about when they stick the electrodes into you arm and hand and turn on the juice. I agree, parts of that test were less than enjoyable.

    Did they do a MRI to determine your pinched nerve in your shoulder? I would have thought that a MRI would be necessary before they could determine the cause of your problem and before suggesting surgery.

    I can’t tell you whether to go or not go to a physical therapist. All I can tell you is what I did with regard to exercises. I tried to use common sense and gave particular attention to the areas that were my greatest concerns (for me my neck/shoulder area and my hands). Repetition and consistency of exercises was the key for me.


    Sleeping – Research and find/determine the best sleeping position for your condition and make sure you sleep that way.

    Sleeping in the wrong position can aggravate your problem. Prop yourself with pillows to configure your body for sleeping. If needed, get some ace bandages and loosely wrap them around your arms to help keep them straight
    when you sleep at night.

    Nutrition – Research which foods and supplements are the best for muscle and nerve building and make sure you eat nutritiously.

    Exercise – Do a lot of stretching exercises. Try to build up the muscles in your shoulders, neck, arms and hands. Do aerobic exercises for general fitness. Use light weight dumbbells.

    These are the exercises that I did/do.

    1. When I watch TV I pull/stretch my weak fingers. Bend them back as far as they go and hold for as long as you can.

    2. When I watch TV I hold my arms over and behind my head. For me I find this necessary for long periods of stationary sitting. It is also more comfortable and provides a stretching action for my arms, neck and shoulders.

    3. For my hand/fingers.
    – bend over and get into the position of doing finger tip pushups (or as close as you can come to it with weak hands). Hold that position for as long as possible. Repeat throughout the day.
    – pull/stretch my weak fingers. Bend them back as far as they go and hold for as long as you can. I do this throughout the day.
    – exercise your fingers with one of those spring hand exercise devices to build strength. Squeeze a rubber ball repeatedly, hold onto dumbbells for 15 minutes at a time, and do anything you can think of to increase the strength
    and dexterity of you hand and fingers
    – hand shaking (vigorously)

    4. For my shoulders and neck.
    – do any type of stretches that you can think of including head turns, neck twists, body twists, arm twirls, act..
    – I would do about 45 minutes of continual stretching, body twists and arm twirls to music each day to condition and strengthen my neck and shoulders.
    – use light weight dumbbells with your exercises. Just holding onto them
    with help your hand/fingers and stretching/exercising with them will help build up strength.

    That’s all I can think of right now. Hope that helps. Good luck.

    Thank you for replying so quickly. I will follow your advice and hopefully improve,or at least prevent deterioration of, the strength in my fingers/hand. Cheers Wendy

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