Can Physio Help nerve pain?

Nerve pain feels like pins and needles, shooting pain, stabbing/throbbing pain, burning, numbness, deep aching, or a tingling-like sensation. Mild symptoms of nerve pain may be due to inflammation of the nerve and its surrounding nerve fibres. More severe symptoms can potentially be due to compression of the nerve and may often give more obvious symptoms such as weakness.

When nerves in the neck are irritated, this can refer pain down into one or both arms. This can involve nerves such as median, ulnar or radial nerves.

This video demonstrates some simple exercises to mobilise these nerves as they move from the neck down into the arm.

Recovery time varies everyone’s experience of nerve pain is different. Nerves tend to take longer to recover than muscles or ligaments, and sometimes even longer than bony healing. Full recovery is possible however, the length of time to recovery can be between 3 – 18 months.

Physio helps to reduce pain and restore movement to the affected areas. This can be achieved through a number of different treatment approaches outlined below;

Hands-on Spinal Mobilisations:

This treatment involves manual mobilisation of the spinal joints to help achieve better mobility of the nervous tissue. This involves the release of restrictive muscles and joints that are causing pressure on the nerves and limiting movement. This kind of treatment often can have a desensitising effect on local neural tissue to help calm patients’ symptoms.

Exercise for muscles/joints:

Physio for nerve pain is often best treated with controlled and targeted exercises that strengthen and optimise muscle function. It is best to speak to your physio about an appropriate exercise program that aims to focus on the affected areas and how best to manage them.


Along with exercise, stretching should be part of your treatment. Stretching after exercises is important to relieve any muscle tension and allows for greater ranges in your joints.

Massage/Soft Tissue Release:

Applying targeted pressure to soft tissue and muscle, and combining them with various massage techniques can be effective in alleviating symptoms while also allowing increased flexibility and mobility

Dry needling:

This treatment approach involves inserting a needle into the relevant muscle tissue. This can help reduce muscle tension and restore normal muscle function and range of motion.


This aims to help educate patients and their condition, why it most likely has occurred, their estimated recovery timeframe as well as what needs to be done to help treat the problem. The patient will also be educated on what to continue to do once all pain has settled to prevent any recurrence.

This article was written by our Chartered Physio Darren Flannery. To book an appointment with Darren click here.

Still suffering with that hamstring?

by Clara Linnane, Chartered Physiotherapist Hamstring strains or ‘Pulling your hamstring’ is a common sports injury usually associated with running, sprinting and kicking. The hamstring consists …
Read More

Jobs Available

Job Description Are you looking for a part-time or full-time physio position in Galway? Our dynamic and respected business is looking for the right person to join …
Read More

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Running away from lockdown - within our 5k limit :)  After the first lockdown we treated lots of running injuries! Some old injuries that had resurfaced …
Read More

Runners warm-up: Glutes

Runners Glutes warm-up 🍑 These exercises are my absolute favourite for glutes ❤️ As physios we aren’t supposed to have favourites but 🤷🏻‍♀️ These guys give you so much bang for …
Read More

What is your pelvic floor?

Think of your pelvic floor like a sling. These muscles come from the back of the pelvis to attach at the front. When you contract …
Read More

Exercise during Pregnancy

By Anita HayesAccording to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists (ACOG) guidelines (2015), physical activity in pregnancy has minimal risks and has been shown …
Read More

Hip and Groin Rehab

Are you a sports-person with Hip & Groin or Back Pain? I have developed a Rehab program specifically for you! This rehab program is based on current …
Read More

Top 10 Tips for Hamstring Injury

Sports injuries tend to garner more than their fair share of well-meaning advice and old wives tales. Hamstring injuries are no different. Maybe there is …
Read More

Supplements & Herbs for Migraine

Here are some non-drug or alternative treatment options for Migraine 1. Magnesium2. Ribioflavin (Vitamin B)3. CoQ104. Butterbur5. Feverfew These are considered Migraine preventatives. You take them daily …
Read More

Food and Migraine

Are you feeding your Migraine?  Food and migraine is a popular and sometimes confusing subject for my patients. In this article I discuss food-related disorders such as …
Read More

Migraine and Physiotherapy

My left eye is target practice for the circus knife-thrower. The searing, white hot pain of his knives will eventually subside. The nausea, the vomiting, …
Read More

Hamstring Problems

We are going to run a series of information articles on hamstring injuries. It is by far one of the most common sports injuries we …
Read More

Hurling Injuries

Hurlers are 19 times more likely to get injured during a match than during training What are the most common hurling injuries?Are Hurlers less fit than …
Read More

Top 5 Exercises for Runners

Simple exercises to help prevent injuries 1. Squat Strengthen your back, hips, gluts, quads and hamstrings 2. Heel RaisesPrevent calf and Achilles injuries 3. …
Read More

Michelle’s Olympic Experience

London 2012 Olympics My name is Michelle Biggins and I am a chartered physiotherapist with a special interest in sports injuries. I was selected to work …
Read More

The Cruciate Curse

This year Cork All-Star Colm O’Neill confirmed his third cruciate injury, once again fuelling the public interest in this severe injury. In the English Premier …
Read More