Pierce still playing through pinched nerve in neck

Pierce still playing through pinched nerve in neck
February 28, 2013, 2:30 pm
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WALTHAM — Paul Pierce has been the Celtics' go-to guy for the majority of his career, and that remains the same this season too.

But there's an outside chance the C's may need to look elsewhere in a pinch, because Pierce has been dealing with a pinch of his own.

A pinched nerve in his neck, that is.
News of the injury was first discovered when Danny Ainge mentioned it during the second quarter of the Celtics' eventual 71-69 win over the Bulls on February 13. Pierce admitted to it after that game when asked.

"It's something that's been bothering me probably for like the last two months," Pierce said then. "It's getting better, though. The last couple weeks, it's been better than it has been."

Fast forward to Thursday when the topic was raised again, and it doesn't appear that the injury will heal much in the near future.

“I probably won’t be fully recovered from it until the season is over…if I ever do [recover],” Pierce explained. “I probably got a little bit of nerve damage in the back part of my neck. It’s something I’ve been playing through over the last couple months . . . I’m probably as healthy as I’m going to be for the rest of the season right now.”

According to WebMD (because I'm no doctor), "How long it takes for symptoms to end can vary from person to person. Treatment varies, depending on the severity and cause of the nerve compression.

You may find that you benefit greatly from simply resting the injured area and by avoiding any activities that tend to worsen your symptoms. In many cases, that's all you need to do."

Pierce doesn't look to be resting his neck anytime soon, so that injury will most likely stick around for the rest of the season. The hope is that it just doesn't get worse, and that Pierce can rest it in the offseason.

Until then, he's trying not to let it affect his game as much as possible, but sometimes it just does.

“I really don’t try to pay attention to it during the game," Pierce said. "I don’t let little injuries try to affect me. I don’t really think about it. That’s probably the reason why I’ve been up and down a lot. Sometimes you get a sharp pain, other times you have a stinger go through the same part of my neck where the pain is happening. It’s happening a lot more than normally, whether it be in practice or a game but it’s something I’ll deal with after the season.”

Treatment for a pinched nerve includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin), physical therapy, or surgery for more severe cases.