You may be suffering from a pinched nerve if you feel tingling, numbness or shooting pains in your back, neck or hand. You can injure or compress a nerve when you accidentally put too much pressure on it. The pain or discomfort caused by a pinched nerve can be uncomfortable, but it doesn't make exercise impossible. With proper posture, perseverance and a good walking plan, you can still lose weight with a nerve compression.
Buy a good -- and cute -- pair of walking shoes. The correct footwear is an essential part of any exercise routine, especially if you’re injured. Your goal is to lose the pounds without putting unnecessary stress or strain on your pinched nerve. Since most pinched nerves occur in the lower back, good footwear is especially important. Appropriate foot and ankle support help prevent other injuries, including knee pain, plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
Keep your metabolism elevated by briskly walking several times throughout your day. You are walking too fast if you can’t hold a conversation with your exercise buddy. For neck and back injuries, start with a 15-minute stroll before work, during lunchtime and after work. As you start to feel better, you can walk twice a day for 30 minutes to an hour each time. Proper posture protects your lower back and neck from further injury, so keep your head straight, your shoulders relaxed and your abdominal muscles tight. Walk on flat ground and take even, smooth steps. Excessive bouncing and walking on an incline can aggravate pinched nerves. Lessen the impact of your foot hitting the ground by walking on a treadmill or on soft terrain such as grass or a padded running track.
To increase your fat-burning capacity, grab a pair of dumbbells. They don't have to be more than 2 to 3 pounds -- even 1 pound is great if that's what you're comfortable with. As you walk, swing your arms back and forth in an exaggerated motion. Now you're power walking. This will get your heart rate up and cause the sweat beads to form. If using dumbbells is too much for you, just move your arms without carrying weights. You'll know if you're doing it right when you feel your heart beating faster.
Proper Care and Maintenance
After your exercise routine, carefully stretch and apply ice to the affected area. Applying ice to your pinched nerve reduces inflammation that occurs during a workout. The right balance of exercise and rest is important for weight loss and healing your injury, so don’t overdo it. Numbness, a tingling sensation and radiating pain are indications that you need to take a break. Listen to your body, maintain a consistent exercise routine -- and a pinched nerve won’t stop you from reaching your goal weight.
Your health care provider can tell you how much and what type of exercise you should be doing with a given injury. Before starting your walking routine, find out how much exercise your doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist feels you can perform. Most health care providers will recommend that you walk no more than 30 minutes to an hour on a flat surface when you’re newly injured. Watch your progress and consult with your health care provider before increasing the time and resistance in your workout routine.
Rachel Hayon has been writing health-related articles since 2004. She has run various clinical research studies focusing on HIV/AIDS and oncology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and English literature from the University of Miami, a Masters in public health from Florida International University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Columbia University.