Have you ever felt tingling, pins and needles, or numb sensations going down an arm or into your hand and fingers? This is a common condition that people experience at all different stages of life. This can be a concerning symptom when someone experiences it for the first time, and, it doesn't always have the most obvious of causes. Pain, numbness, or tingling down an arm can be experienced as the only symptom or it can be associated with neck, upper back, or shoulder pain as well. In fact, there are multiple causes as to why you may feel radiating symptoms, but if you do experience symptoms that travel down a limb, it almost always points to a nerve is being compressed or irritated at some point along its path through the limb. To understand this, we first should have a good idea of the anatomy and how our nerves travel from our spine down our arms into our hands and provide us with the essential functions that we need from our hands and arms.
As you can see in the above picture, the nervous system is like an interconnected highway of nerves that originate from the brain and spinal cord and branch outwards connecting to every single cell in our body ultimately connecting our body to our brain. The nervous system is vastly complex and intricately interwoven with the rest of the anatomy of our body. Nerves are like ropes with great flexibility but very little elasticity to them, meaning, they can bend easily but they do not like to be stretched like a rubber band. This is important when considering the other anatomy that completely surrounds our nerves as they travel through the body such as: intervertebral discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, arteries, and veins! With so much going on it becomes crucial to understand what tissues are surrounding a nerve when someone experiences nerve symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness. One of the most common types of conditions we see at Empower Chiropractic is known as Cervical Radiculopathy. This is a condition caused by compression of the nerve roots as they exit the spinal column and branch outwards down the arm. Cervical Radiculopathy occurs right at the point where the nerve begins exiting from the spinal cord.
This image highlights how a nerve can be compressed right as it exits the spine by tissues such as a herniated intervertebral disc. It can also occur when the joints of the spine become inflamed. The nerve becomes trapped in the hole it exits between the vertebrae, and the compression that occurs causes the nerve to not be able to send signals between the brain and body as it is meant to. This is then felt by people as a symptom such as pain, numbness, or tingling as the signals are not crossing the point of compression in the nerve. We treat cervical radiculopathy at Empower Chiropractic by addressing what tissue is causing the nerve root compression and applying specific treatments directed at that tissue. Chiropractic adjustments help to restore the motion of the spinal joints, reduce muscle tension, and ease pressure on the nerves. Spinal decompression helps to reduce pressure on the intervertebral disc and can help to reduce a herniation of the disc itself which could also be compressing the nerve root. Dr. Brunner also educates his patients on proper exercises and movements to help strengthen the neck and surrounding soft tissues to create sustainability in the neck and reduce the chances of re-injury occurring.
There are multiple causes to why someone feels radiating pain, numbness, or tingling down an arm and in order to properly address the issue, you should be evaluated by a medical professional. Here at Empower Chiropractic in Shawnee, Kansas, we take the time to properly identify what is causing the symptoms you are feeling, develop a specific focused treatment plan addressing all of your needs, and walk step by step with you along the way. We are a team and will help you understand your condition as well as what you can do to improve it.
Our phone number is 913-278-1598 if you are in need of a consultation we offer free 15 minute phone calls or in person meetings to discuss your specific concerns and if Chiropractic can help you.