Arm pain can be disconcerting because it can arise out of seemingly nowhere, with no explanation. While some arm pain is caused by overuse, arm pain can be a symptom of a more serious health problem. The good news is arm pain doctors can effectively treat the pain, plus target and treat its underlying cause.
What is Arm Pain?
Arm pain is any discomfort or pain experienced anywhere along the arm and can include the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Pain or discomfort can vary from achiness to sharp pain, to numbness, tingling, a feeling of pins and needles, or weakness. Symptoms that can occur with arm pain are redness, stiffness, and swelling.
What Causes Arm Pain?
A pinched nerve can cause arm pain, either in the arm itself or the cervical spine – the vertebra that run down through the neck. Because the nerves to the arm run through the neck, any inflammation or pressing on a nerve will radiate through the shoulder and down the arm, causing pain or tingling.
Arm pain can be caused by stretching or straining of the ligaments or tendons. Tendonitis is also a common cause of arm pain. It can occur in the shoulder, elbow – what’s sometimes referred to as “tennis elbow” – or wrist.
Arthritis can also cause arm pain and will present itself as tender, swollen or stiff joints.
Broken bones will cause immediate arm pain. Arm pain can also be the first sign of angina or a heart attack. Both require urgent medical care.
Treating Arm Pain
Because arm pain can be a sign of something serious, it’s important to seek medical care at the first symptoms. Tingling and numbness in the arm, for example, can often be overlooked as something that isn’t serious, but it can be caused by a pinched nerve, which can lead to permanent nerve damage and lifelong pain and discomfort if not treated promptly.
The same can be said for pain in the shoulder, elbow or wrist that might be caused by a rotator cuff injury or arthritis. The symptoms can increase if ignored, and become more challenging to treat.
Arm pain doctors in Waterford, MI, will do a comprehensive medical examination and take your medical history to determine the underlying cause of your arm pain. If a pinched nerve is causing the pain, chiropractic care will include spinal manipulations or adjustments to the vertebra to release pressure and inflammation on the nerve, which can provide immediate pain relief.
Your chiropractor might also use traction to treat arm pain caused by a pinched nerve. Cervical traction, applied either with the hands or using a machine, pulls the head away from the neck, to create space in the vertebra and relieve pressure on nerves.