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The 101 on Shoulder, Arm and Hand Pain

Have you ever heard of a “stinger”? A “burner”? These laid-back monikers refer to brachial plexus injuries. It’s a mouthful, we know, but according to the Mayo Clinic, the brachial plexus “is the network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed, or in the most serious cases, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord.” Commonly experienced as shoulder, arm or hand pain, brachial plexus injuries can affect anyone from birth to 100.

What if My Hand, Shoulder and Arm Pain is Minor?

Get treatment! When you experience pain, decreased movement or decreased sensation in the arm and shoulders, your symptoms may indicate a condition that is caused by a nerve problem. Delaying treatment can drastically change the outcome of therapy.

What Causes Shoulder, Arm or Hand Pain?

Injuries to the brachial plexus (that bundle of nerves in your neck region) may be caused by:

  • Inflammation that could result in paralysis of some arm muscles
  • Stretch injuries
  • Birth trauma
  • Direct traumas like automobile or motorcycle accidents or falls
  • Tumors that put pressure on the brachial plexus

Think of a whiplash injury: when pull your shoulder in one direction and your neck in the other. As a result, you might begin to suffer from hand, shoulder and arm pain.

Common symptoms of this condition include numbness, weakness, tingling and pain/discomfort.

Why Chiropractic for Your Hand, Arm and Shoulder Treatment?

The first step in the road to recovery is to diagnose the condition through testing, such as an MRI of the neck and shoulders, ultrasound, blood tests or an electromyogram (EMG). If you take the traditional medical route, treatment often includes pain medications, physical therapy to increase muscle strength or braces or splints.

Chiropractic care treats the underlying condition, while avoiding the risk of adverse side effects, prescription, pain medications and the last resort—surgery. Subluxations, or misalignments in the spine, can impede or cause compression of the nerves. Often, after just one chiropractic adjustment,
a patient suffering from shoulder, arm or hand pain or numbness will experience immediate relief.

If you know someone who’s suffering from shoulder, arm or hand problems, recommend chiropractic care.