Have you ever slept on your arm and had it fall asleep? Imagine if it just felt like that all the time. Since the nerves that control the arm come from the neck, treating arm pain always includes treating the neck as well.
Treating Arm Pain With Chiropractic
A few months ago I had a young lady come to my San Diego Chiropractic office with numbness and tingling in her arm. She also had neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, wrist pain, hand pain as well as weakness in her right hand. These symptoms were causing clumsiness and was affecting her work as an executive secretary.
These complaints are seen with regular frequency in my office. The process is a familiar one and common with many musculoskeletal conditions that involve the nervous system.
Usually bad posture, such as leaning over a desk or computer, will eventually irritate a specific joint in the spine. The irritation of the joint causes inflammation of the muscles and ligaments that surround that joint. This inflammation causes compression of the local nerves resulting in pain and muscle spasm. If the nerve compression persists, numbness, tingling and weakness of the related muscles will follow. At this point, treating arm pain is a necessity!
This patient was displaying signs and symptoms of long-term nerve root compression that involved her right arm and hand.
She was treated with chiropractic manipulations that were delivered with the specific goal of eliminating the nerve root compression. She was also treated with hot packs, electrical muscle stimulation and ultrasound in order to decrease inflammation. In addition to in office care she was given a set of stretches and exercises for at home therapy and advised to use ice packs daily for twenty minutes per session.
Treating arm pain requires patience. It takes a long time for the nerves to be pinched enough to cause symptoms all the way down to the hand. It took approximately eight weeks of active care, which is three treatment visits per week, to relieve 90% of her pain and 90% of her right arm weakness. The rest of her symptoms will resolve with at home therapy and chiropractic care delivered on an as needed basis for flair-ups that will occur in the future.