What Causes Nerve Pain In The Arm
A disc herniation can cause nerve pain in the arm. Such a condition occurs when the spinal disc, a fluid-filled sac between vertebrae, begins to deform due to spinal compression or another injury. The deformed sac can put pressure on the nerves that run near it, thereby causing pain in the part of the body serviced by that nerve.
If You Have Any Of The Following Symptoms You May Be Suffering From A Pinched Nerve:
- Pain in the neck that radiates beyond your elbow or to your fingertips
- Shoulder blade pain
- Hand, arm, or shoulder weakness
- Dull aches, numbness, or tingling
- Pain aggravated by neck movements
If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, administer this self-movement test to help you determine if a pinched nerve is the cause of your pain:
Hand Pain You Might Have Cervical Radiculopathy
Im having numbness and tingling in my hand. Sometimes there is pain that runs down my arm and shoulder. I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome. Someone told me it could be coming from my neck. What does this mean?
Not all hand pain or numbness is coming from your carpal tunnel. You can also experience hand numbness caused by conditions in your neck.
Not all hand numbness is carpal tunnel syndrome. The symptoms you describe are typically caused from a nerve injury or irritation. The nerves that go to your arm start at your neck. If the nerve is being irritated or compressed at your neck, this is called cervical radiculopathy.
Also Check: How To Workout With A Broken Wrist
Symptoms Of Right Arm Pain
Right arm pain can manifest itself in a number of ways. You could have a short or stabbing pain, and the pain may be confined to a specific area or more widespread. It may come on or get worse during a specific movement, get worse at night-time or ease off with rest, or be the result of an injury, and your arm may also become swollen or misshapen. The pain may also be accompanied by a burning or electric shock sensation, or pins and needles.
Pain Between The Shoulder And Elbow
In some cases, pain can be felt in both the area of the right shoulder and further down towards your right elbow. Some causes are:
- Rotator cuff disease: Pain can begin to radiate from your shoulder into the side of your upper arm.
- Torn rotator cuff: Shoulder pain may radiate down your arm to the area of the elbow.
- Dislocated shoulder: The pain from a dislocated shoulder can radiate down the upper arm.
- Upper arm fracture: A break in your upper arm can cause pain thats localized around the area of your shoulder and throughout your upper arm.
- Frozen shoulder: Pain from a frozen shoulder may also spread into your right bicep.
- Calcific tendinitis: Similarly to frozen shoulder, pain from calcific tendinitis can spread down into your bicep area.
Also Check: Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea
Why Do I Feel Pain And Numbness In My Right Arm And Shoulder
Waking up with a numb feeling in your arms and shoulders isnt exactly unusual, neither is it a condition that is untraceable.
Numbness usually occurs because of loss of sensation in certain parts of the body, followed by tingly and burning sensations.
Arm numbness can be from different conditions, from mild to severe cases.
Sometimes you can feel pain and numbness when you rest on your arms for too long, restricting blood flow to essential parts.
Other times, the pain and numbness you feel in your arms and shoulders can result from other health conditions.
The pressure exerted on the nerves and the absence of regular circulation within the body system sometimes cause this tingling feeling.
Pinched Nerves: Causes Of Shoulder Pain Radiating Down Your Arm
There are two common causes of pinched nerves: degenerative changes through aging or injury.
Your spinal column consists of 24 bones stacked on top of each other, called vertebrae. The cervical spine contains seven small vertebrae that begin at the skull base and form the neck. The job of the spinal column is to protect your delicate spinal cord. The spinal cord comprises electrical cables that carry signals up and down the body of a human beings control center.
As our body ages, the vertebrae in our spine shorten and swell, drying out in the process. As the length of the vertebrae shortens, they move closer to each other. The body reacts by forming extra bone to reinforce the region around the disc, often trapping nerve endings in the process.
This degenerative process is often referred to as arthritis and is usually not cause for alarm. Arthritis is a common occurrence in an aging body, and for the most part, will affect nearly everyone in their lifetime. Rest assured that worn discs occur in almost half of the middle-aged population, and for most, they cause few issues.
In younger patients, a herniated disc is usually a result of injury associated with awkward movements, such as lifting objects that are too heavy. Here, the center of the vertebrae pushes against the outside of the disc. This process puts external pressure on the nerve ending, which causes discomfort and weakness in the area.
Recommended Reading: Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea
How Does Nerve Damage Cause Pain
Damage to the nerves affects how the signals travel. There may be:
How To Relieve Pain And Numbness In The Right Arm And Shoulder
The numbness should go away once nerve damage reduces and circulation returns to normal.
Some will take days or months, depending on the severity of the condition. There are always ways to go about relieving pain and numbness in your right arm and shoulder.
Home remedies for your pain and numbness include placing warm compresses on the areas to relieve the pains.
You can do this by using a soft piece of clothing and dipping it into mildly warm water. Place the piece of cloth on your arms and shoulder and massage gently.
Regular stretches and exercises also work. As we have mentioned earlier, restricted movements can restrict blood flow in the body.
Regularly stretch your arms and back, and keep your circulation intact.
Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective in relieving such conditions. Aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen are typical examples of such medications.
Use pain relief, but only following prescriptions. Steroids drugs, steroid injections can also combat this condition.
Paying a visit to a great massage therapist can help improve your condition.
They will help you through movements that can help improve circulation, including exercises and stretches that can reduce your pains.
Activities can relieve nerve pressure and exercises that help return strength to your arms and shoulders.
Damage from more severe injuries, like dislocated shoulders or fractures, will require surgery to heal.
You May Like: Are Stomach Pains Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Treatment For Burning Shoulder Pain
If you have shoulder pain or the sensation of tingling or burning that lasts for more than three months youneed to seek professional medical care and treatment.
Typically, the first line of treatment is focused on resolving pain and improving movement with prescriptionmedications to reduce pain and inflammation. However, prescription pain medications are not recommendedfor long-term usage and offer only brief relief from your symptoms. Surgery is recommended only when allother treatment options fail to provide relief, or you have sudden worsening pain or a medical emergency.
If you experience numbness in the shoulder and chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, seek emergencymedical care.
Chiropractic care can relieve pressure on the compressed nerve and reduce inflammation through chiropractictechniques, traction, manipulation, and adjustments. Adjustments and manipulation in conjunction withmassage therapy and chiropractic exercises can help resolve the underlying cause of your complaint andprovide effective long-term relief.
Typical Symptoms Of Pinched Nerve
The common symptoms of a pinched nerve include shoulder pain or electrical shooting sensations down the arm. They can consist of muscle weakness or a numb feeling, aches, or a tingling sensation . The severity of the pain varies based on the location and cause of the trapped nerve. A common complaint from some patients is waking up with a sore or frozen neck.
A pinched nerve usually only causes pain in one shoulder. Often, its a sharp pain instead of a dull ache or discomfort similar to that you may experience when youve overworked your muscles.
You May Like: Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea
How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Coming From My Neck
Lets perform an experiment to see if we can figure it out.
- Notice what you feel in your arm right now. Is it numb? Tingling? Shooting pains? How intense is it?
- Now, look down at your left foot, then look down at your right foot. Any changes in how you feel? Better, worse or no different?
- Look up as if a bird flew over your left shoulder. Now, do the same for the right shoulder. Any change in how you feel? Better, worse or no different?
IF THE POSITION OF YOUR HEAD/NECK CHANGES HOW YOU FEEL IN YOUR HAND, THE PROBLEM COULD BE COMING FROM YOUR NECK. LETS TRY ONE MORE THING.
Reach with one arm as if you are the driver of a car reaching behind the passenger seat. Is that better, worse or no different? What if you reach with the other arm in the same way? Any change in how you feel in your hand with that motion?
The nerves in your arm can be stretched by reaching motions and may indicate nerve irritation somewhere along their path possibly at the neck or down your arm.
If you experience hand numbness, tingling, pain or weakness with motion of your neck or reaching behind you with your arm, an evaluation by a hand surgeon may help to identify if the source is from your neck. A certified hand therapist can teach you ways to reduce nerve compression and tension.
Contact BoulderCentre 449-2730 for your hand therapy appointment with one of our specialists Sally Brown, Bridget Myers or Charla Stilling.
See all of BoulderCentres Physical Therapists.
Stretch For Increased Flexibility
Doing stretches that increase flexibility is one of the best ways to reduce pressure and tension in your neck and shoulder.
Remember to keep your stretches gentle. Pulling your muscles too deeply can worsen your symptoms.
The most effective time to do stretches is after you have done a warm-up exercise or after your workout.
What Causes Tingling In The Shoulder Area
Age-related conditions, arthritis, or a herniated disc can pinch a nerve in your upper back that radiates to your shoulder blade, causing mild to severe pain. Along with sharp aching shoulder pains, a pinched nerve can result in tingling, a burning sensation, or muscle weakness in the affected shoulder blade.
Vitamin And Mineral Intake
Increase your essential nutrient intake with foods enriched with B vitamins such as eggs, fortified cereals, dairy products, fish, beans, dried fruits, and nuts and seeds.
You can also increase magnesium levels to prevent numbness by enjoying low-fat yogurt, dark-green vegetables, nuts and seeds, bananas, soybeans, fish, and even dark chocolate.
Adding cinnamon to your diet can promote blood flow. You can add it to dishes or drink a glass of warm water mixed with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder daily.
Also Check: How To Reduce Arthritis Pain In Wrist
What Is Cervical Radiculopathy
Cervical radiculopathy describes pain or tingling in the arms, hands or fingers that is the result of a condition that irritates a nerve in the spinal column in particular, in the neck . Cervical Radiculopathy is a disease of the root of a nerve in the cervical spine, possibly from a pinched nerve or a tumor, that becomes inflamed or damaged. This results in a change in neurological function such as numbness, altered reflexes, or weakness. Pain can radiate anywhere from the neck into the shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers.
This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the cervical spine. Because these nerves travel to the shoulders, arms and hands, an injury in the cervical spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Cervical radiculopathy may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the cervical spinal column.
What Causes Radiculopathy
Typically, radiculopathy occurs when the tissues surrounding the nerve roots, like bones of the spinal vertebrae, change or shift in size. When this happens, they may narrow the spaces where the nerve roots are traveling inside the spine or exiting the spine. It can be caused by gradual degeneration of the spine or because of a spinal injury.
Cervical herniated discs are also a common cause of radiculopathy. As a disc slips or shifts from place or becomes damaged and presses on nerves it causes the symptoms.
Other causes include bone spurs due to inflammation from trauma, osteoarthritis, or other degenerative conditions such as cervical spinal stenosis. Some less common causes are spinal infections and cancerous or noncancerous growths in the spine that can press against the nerve roots.
If youre feeling arm or hand numbness, weakness in the arms or hands, or radiating arm pain, the cause may actually be in your neck without causing neck pain.
Don’t Miss: How To Sprain Your Wrist On Purpose
How Is It Diagnosed
As with all medical pathologies, anamnesis is the most critical parameter that will lead to pain diagnosis in the right shoulder and arm numbness and tingling. First of all, along with numbness, possible causes of arm pain are suspected according to the shape, type, duration of pain, and potential diagnoses are revealed. According to the results of the examination, the doctor requests the necessary tests. Pain in the right shoulder along with numbness and tingling in the arm if a fall occurred suddenly after a trauma such as hitting, if there is pain with the severity of pain by touching, first of all, direct graphs look for any fractures in the arm. Cervical MRI is required by suspecting a cervical hernia in cases where neck pain, numbness in the fingers, or loss of strength in the arm extends to the arm, to the fingers. If shoulder and arm pain are present, it usually passes at rest and occurs with shoulder movements or increases in severity, shoulder pathologies are suspected, and shoulder MRI is performed. Diseases such as ulnar groove syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, which develop due to nerve compression, are diagnosed with EMG.
Is Your Upper Back Pain Related To Your Arm Numbness
When upper back or shoulder pain is accompanied by numbness in the arm, it can stem from a problem in the neck or shoulder that inflames a nerve going down the arm. Some people may have worsening upper back pain and arm numbness as the day goes on, whereas others may experience worse symptoms when waking up in the morning. Here are 6 potential causes.
A cervical herniated disc may cause numbness and weakness in the arm. Watch:Cervical Herniated Disc Video
Read Also: Lidocaine Used For
Repetitive Strain Injury Of The Shoulder
Repetitive strain injury of the shoulder is caused by consistent repetitive use.
Top Symptoms: shoulder pain from overuse, shoulder weakness, shoulder numbness
Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder : shoulder pain from overuse
Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder : severe shoulder pain, shoulder injury
Pain In Both Shoulders Symptom Checker