Pinched or Entrapped Shoulder Nerves Treatment

There is an association between a pinched nerve and shoulder nerve pain which can have debilitating and persistent symptoms.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of a pinched nerve and shoulder pain aims to:

What are pinched or entrapped shoulder nerves?

Within the shoulder there are multiple nerves forming a nerve complex, some of which come from the neck (cervical spine). A pinched or entrapped shoulder nerves occurs when a shoulder structure presses on or compress these nerves coming down from the neck – a pinched nerve within the shoulder can cause shoulder pain stemming from the neck and can also be referred to as cervical radiculopathy. Nerves can also become ‘entrapped’ when muscles form tightly around shoulder nerves or if adhesions develop between nearby tissue and the nerve.

These nerve injuries often disrupt neural signals from the brain, also affecting range of movement and pain, felt both at the site and referred pain in nearby structures (e.g. pain down the arm).

Question mark

What are the causes of pinched or entrapped shoulder nerves?

Shoulder nerve compression is usually caused by pressure or entrapment of either the shoulder nerve complex (mainly the suprascapular nerve) or cervical nerves. This pressure can stem from bone or disk protrusions, or inflamed muscle and tissue. Pinched nerves within the shoulder are usually linked to cervical nerve root compression –  common causes of pinched nerves include:

  • Cervical disc degeneration – wearing down of spinal discs over time, causing them to rub together; can also develop bone spurs which also press on nerves
  • Cervical disc herniation – prolapsed spinal discs pressing on nearby nerves
  • Acute injuries – car accident, falls, blow to the shoulder, etc.
    • Contact sports – susceptible to shoulder and cervical injuries
  • Overuse of muscle – overstretching and overusing muscles can cause tightness or adhesions to form that press or entrap nerves
  • Differential diagnoses – conditions include arthritis, shoulder instability, etc.

What are the symptoms?

Reducing Muscle Tension

Treatment for pinched or entrapped shoulder nerves

If you suspect you have a pinched or entrapped nerve and have pain in your shoulder, it is important to see a medical professional. You will likely be referred for imaging tests to determine the origin and extent of the injury or to rule out a differential diagnosis.


Physical therapy is highly beneficial in reducing nerve pain and inflammation. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

If the pain and reduced movement is severe, driving and strenuous activity should be avoided. Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, anti-inflammatory pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use neck support or a suitable pillow.

How to book an appointment?

If you have a a pinched nerve and shoulder pain, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess your condition to tailor a unique rehabilitation plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by pinched or entrapped shoulder nerves? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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