Important Facts About Arm, Neck, and Shoulder Pain
By Sara Butler
Pain in your arm, neck or shoulder can range from a minor inconvenience to completely incapacitating. It can come on suddenly or build up over time and stick around – you know, just for fun. Pain of this kind doesn’t always have an obvious cause, mostly because the location where you’re feeling pain may not be the area from where the pain is actually stemming. Here’s what you need to know about arm, neck, and shoulder pain and how the chiropractors at The Joint can help.
Your Brain and Central Nervous System
In order to understand the pain you experience in your arm, shoulder, and neck, you first have to understand how it all goes together. Nerves usually go directly to their destination and don’t mingle with other nerves, unless they’re part of something called a “plexus.” Your brachial plexus is a nerve network that contains nerve from the middle and upper back. What this means for you is that any nerve irritation that travels through the brachial plexus can cause you to experience pain in many areas – areas that may be completely unrelated to where the pain actually started.
When you have joint restrictions or dysfunctions in the neck, upper back, and spine, then it can cause irritation to the many nerves that travel through the area, causing pain in many different places. This is why, when you experience arm pain, it may actually be stemming from a problem in your neck. And you need a chiropractor to help you trace the pain back to its origins.
When you have pain in the arm, shoulder or neck, you will most often experience:
- Stiffness that makes it difficult to turn the head
- Sharp or stabbing pain
- Pain that shoots from the neck down the arms
- Tenderness in the neck
- Dull and aching pain beginning in the shoulder shooting down the arms
- More pain at night
- Problem lifting, reaching overhead, or placing arms behind the back
If you don’t seek treatment for these symptoms, then it can have a significant impact on your quality of life. It may eventually lead to issues with coordination, balance, grip, loss of bladder control, or even constant tingling in your extremities.
At home, you can try a bit of rest and ice to reduce inflammation and pain. A cold compress applied to the area for about 20 minutes every hour should help. If that doesn’t help your pain level, then you need to get in to see a chiropractor as soon as possible!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.