Natural Remedies for a Pinched Nerve

| Modified on Sep 28, 2023

A pinched nerve is a nerve that is compressed by some other tissue in the body. Arthritis, spinal misalignment, bone spurs, and herniated discs can cause a pinched nerve. There are, however, a number of supplements and natural remedies that can alleviate the symptoms of a pinched nerve. These include vitamins C and B, magnesium, hot and cold therapy, turmeric, castor oil, epsom salt baths, and herbs.

Inflammation from injuries, bad posture, or poor sleeping positions can all cause a pinched nerve. The result of this compression can manifest in a number of ways including pain, weakness, tingling, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatic, etc. Nerve pain can be quite miserable and make everyday activities and even sleeping difficult. Determining and alleviating the cause is critical in curing the pinched nerve. Meanwhile, there are a number of natural cures and comfort measures that may help with the pain and inflammation associated with a pinched nerve.

Hot and Cold Therapy for Pinched Nerves

Old fashioned, easily available and free, hot and cold therapy may be helpful for the pain and inflammation from a pinched nerve. Some will find that heat (heating pad or hot water bottle) is more comforting as it brings extra blood (thus oxygen and healing) to the site of pain. Others will find cold (ice pack or frozen rice sock) more comforting since it will numb the pain a bit and can help reduce inflammation. Alternating the two is often a surprising helpful therapy. Always start and end with cold, keeping each on for a minute or so at a time, up to seven changes. Hot/cold therapy can be repeated several times throughout the day.

Castor Oil for the Pain of Pinched Nerves

Castor oil can be massed into the pained area as often as desired. (Careful as it can stain clothes!) Alternately, castor oil can be put onto a cloth and placed over the pained area, covered with a piece of plastic wrap and covered with a heating pad for 30 minutes to an hour, even several times a day. This "Castor Oil Pack" can be left on overnight. But do not use a heating pad overnight!

Turmeric for Inflammation

Because a pinched nerve is often caused by inflammation, and turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory, it may be a helpful remedy. 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in water or milk 1-3 times a day is a common dose of turmeric. (Turmeric should always be taken with plenty of fluids to avoid constipation. It is best to start with less and increase as the body tolerates it.)

Epsom Salt Baths

1 cup of epsom salt, added to a warm bath, will often help with pain, at least temporarily. An added benefit is that the body will absorb magnesium from the epsom salts, which is a critical nutrient for nerve pain, and commonly helpful to those suffering from bone spurs.

Diet and Supplements for Pinched Nerves

To assist the body's natural tendency to heal itself, it is important to eat well. Whole foods in a natural state are much more nutrient dense than processed foods, which are almost devoid of nutrients all together. Sugar and white flour are empty calories and best to be eaten in careful moderation. Adding a teaspoon of Blackstrap Molasses to coffee, tea, or oatmeal a few times a day is better than a vitamin pill! Blackstrap Molasses is chock full of nutrients and has even been reported to help some with carpal tunnel syndrome! Magnesium, Vitamin C and B vitamins are critical for the body to heal.

Herbs for Pinched Nerves

St. John's Wort is classified as a "nervine." It can be taken as a tea or may be found in a salve to be used topically. Peppermint, in the form of essential oil, is often helpful for nerve pain. Adding 2-3 drops to a half teaspoon of olive oil or castor oil and massaged into the pained area as desired may be helpful.

Over the Counter for Pinched Nerves

If you use over the counter pain medication for pinched nerve pain, please do so with caution and discretion. Long term use of pain medication is hard on the liver. Even short term use that reduces the body's awareness of pain makes it more likely that you will "over do" and make an injury worse. Ibuprofen and aspirin both have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore may be helpful if used with care. Over the counter medications are more likely to have short or long term side effects than natural remedies.

Additional Helps for Pinched Nerves

An acidic body will feel pain more strongly. An alkaline body will be better able to heal. Look in to Earth Clinic's many pages on alkalizing. Baking soda baths (1 cup of baking soda to a warm bath) is another way to alkalize and reduce pain.

Get to the Root of Your Pain

While you may try several of the above to help with pain from a pinched nerve, it is important to address the cause. Chiropractic adjustments, better sleeping positions, or attention to posture may help with a pinched nerve caused by a spinal misalignment. You may need to look into long term remedies for bone spurs or arthritis if this is the cause of nerve pain. If an acute injury is the cause of your nerve pain, good nutrition and rest are important for healing.

If you have a remedy for a pinched nerve, please share it with us! Continue reading below for testimonials from our readers who have tried various home remedies and vitamins for a pinched nerve.

Additional Pages of Interest:

Nerve Issues
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cures
Sciatica Cures

Alpha Lipoic Acid

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Alex (Thessaloniki) on 10/23/2020

I have sciatica from a herniated disc. So the herniated disc can pinch the sciatic nerve. For over 18 days, the numbness in my calf and foot didn't go away, although the nerve pain was reducing with time. The moment I started taking Alpha Lipoic Acid, I started seeing improvements. The second day of using the numbness started subsiding and I was walking better without limping too much.

There is a great post about Alpha Lipoic Acid in the neuropathy section. I think ALA promotes nerve healing.

I took a pill 0f 300mg in the morning with food and one more at night with food.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Craig (Albany, Oregon) on 01/22/2016

I suffered from nerve damage for around five months. The pain was in my groin, it was caused by exercise, and it was excruciating.I spoke with a urologist, and he said that the pain was caused by an inflamed inguinal nerve.I researched the inguinal nerve, and discovered that it went from the spinal cord (L1, L4) to the groin area. I then had a chiropractor adjust those vertebrae, and the groin pain completely went away. So if you're suffering from nerve damage, rather than treating the pain, you might want to consider treating its source. It worked for me.

Hope this helps someone.

Coconut Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ellen (Arlington, Tx ) on 09/22/2009

Coconut oil for back pain (pinched nerve)

Yes!!! It worked wonderfully. I rubbed a quarter sized amount of coconut oil on my back a little over an hour ago. It has made the pain go away. I don't know how long the relief will last but I will keep using it.

Eliminate Artificial Sweeteners

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Michael (Broadlands, Virginia) on 03/11/2007

For about the last ten years I have had a pinched nerve in my neck. I am 40 and very active (yoga, lift weights, run, etc) It flared up on occasion when I would work out hard and I would injure my shoulder or neck, putting additional pressure on the nerve. About 18 months ago the pain got so severe that I was seriously considering surgery which would have fused some discs in my neck together (among other things). A business associate had mentioned that he had problems with his knees hurting when he drank diet coke, which i drank. As a last resort I quit drinking diet coke and about 4 weeks later the pain in my neck was down to manageable levels again. This lasted about until recently when it flared up again, I had recently started taking a new weightlifting supplement (powder) and upon closer inspection it contained aspartame. I talked to my doctor who had not heard anything about his particular side effect of aspartame, but we theorized that the additive caused small swelling to muscles which impinged my already narrow nerve openings. needles to say, I have cut aspartame back out of my diet.

Replied by Gerald

I'm curious as to what exercises you performed ( in addition to consuming aspartame) that initially contributed to the pain?

Lion's Mane

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jen (CT) on 05/24/2021

Lions Mane are very unique medicinal mushrooms because they stimulate the production of nerve growth factor. NGF keeps nerve cells healthy and can repair nerve damage. I grow Lions Mane mushrooms and have made dual extracted tinctures that helped with my overall homeostasis, as well as feeling more "sharp" when it came to word recovery and sentence formation, like, not being at a loss for a word which was sometimes happening from time to time.

My hubby's nerve damage to his back is pretty much gone. He can sleep on his right side again, and I never hear him complain of pain in that location. I would add the tincture to a glass of juice in the morning. Always consider your source, and don't be scared to try your hand at growing them! They are quite simple to grow. You can find spores google root mushroom farm.

Replied by guest

Can you please explain how to prepare the tincture, which base to use and what ratio?

Thank you

Replied by Guest

Thanks for sharing. What dosage did you use for each purpose? How many teaspoons and how many times per day? What is the ratio of mushroom to alcohol and mushroom to water in preparing the tincture? Thank you

Stretching Exercises

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 12/13/2021

My husband was having pain in his head, below the skull, on one side, radiating to his neck and shoulder at times. He is not prone to headaches and the pain was disconcerting.

He mentioned it to his doctor, who thought it was radial nerve pain.

Looking up symptoms and causes, this seemed likely. He has also had some trouble with his elbow on the same side now and then. He had used some stretching exercises for the pain in his elbow that had helped, He used the same ones again, and it has now helped with the pain in his head, neck and shoulder.

There are lots of videos with exercises for radial nerve pain, but I just printed out this sheet of exercises for him. a00791_therapeutic-exercise-program-for-radial-tunnel-syndrome_final.pdf (

When I was having ulnar nerve pain I also looked up and used stretching exercises with great success.

I am definitely a fan of exercises for pain relief! Non-invasive, no medications, and free! (Though, when necessary, I have been happy to pay a good physical therapist as well.)

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Michael
(New Zealand)

Always good to hear from Mama to Many.

I just thought I ought to remind her of what she probably knows already but maybe some others are not aware of and is especially beneficial for arm and shoulder issues.

This refers to the use of the "Stretchy Band" material that one ties to the door knob and pulls in the North, South, East and West directions to great effect after nearly a week of doing four times per day.

Details / Instructions are on this Site somewhere under subject title (OR my name maybe?).

You need to do this one properly though!

Cheers from Down Under

Mama to Many

Thanks, Michael! I will look into that! I need all of the arm strength and flexibility I can get.

~Mama to Many~