In our chiropractic clinics we often find that in cases of arm pain, injuries to muscles, joints and ligaments in the neck are often overlooked.
You can read more about neck related arm pain here. Here we will cover some conditions that are often seen by a chiropractor that relate directly to the structures of the arm.
There are thirty bones, over forty muscles and fourteen major nerves making your arm more diligent, dexterous and adaptable than any tool mankind can emulate.
Arm pain is a warning signal and should not be ignored. Often arm pain is caused by injury to the area of pain but it can also be an indication of a more serious underlying problem.
Osteoarthritis is wear and tear, which is the body's way of reacting to overuse trying to stabilise often unstable joints. Joints can become unstable for many reasons such as trauma and overuse.
If joints are allowed to remain unstable, they start to fuse, stopping you from carrying on with everyday activities. The major weight bearing joints such as the spine, hips and knees are the first places to be affected, but the wrist and hands are often affected too, and the thumbs in particular.
Traumatic injuries such as scaphoid fractures (fracture to a small bone between your thumb and your wrist) and ligament tears often cause immediate pain and swelling around the area of the trauma.
Injuries of this kind need immediate attention from the Accident and Emergency department at your local hospital. But chiropractic treatment is perfectly suited for helping you with your recovery and rehabilitation.
Constant overuse or micro trauma can go unnoticed on a daily basis.
If you go to the gym, play racket sports, use a computer, play musical instruments or even text on a mobile phone enough, then overuse is a likely cause of pain.
One of the most common postural distortions is that of a forward head and forward shoulder position also called upper crossed syndrome.
This shift of posture causes muscular tension in the shoulders and the neck. For every inch the head is forward it doubles the work the muscles have to do. The average head weighs as much as a bowling ball! Imagine two bowling balls!
Muscular tension in the neck and shoulders can cause referred pain into the arm, causing a deep ache that often gets worse as the day goes on.
When neck pain is caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm.
Shooting pain that spreads down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of a pinched nerve in the neck.
When a nerve has been pinched in the neck, numbness and weakness of the hands or arms, as well as pain, may occur.
Heart problems can often cause referred pain in the left arm due to the shared neural pathways in the spinal cord. The pain signals from the heart can therefore be felt in the left arm.
Left arm pain accompanied by chest pain or shortness of breath may signal a heart attack.
Every internal organ has an area of referred pain.
Your Chiropractor will examine you and conduct diagnostic tests to determine exactly what is causing your arm pain.
Once the problem has been pinpointed, the chiropractic treatment will begin.
Through treatment and with maybe modifications to your lifestyle, your Chiropractor will correct the cause of your pain.