Many people suffer from pain traveling or radiating down their arm. This discomfort can range from a mild tingling or ache to an agonizing sharp or throbbing pain. For some the onset is gradual, over time. For others the pain occurs suddenly from an accident or overexertion. This article will discuss pain down the arm, a recent scientific research study describing the condition and what can be done to give relief of pain going down the arm.
There are a number of different types of conditions causing a person to have pain in the arm. A very common category of arm pain is called cervicobrachial radiculopathy (CR). “Cervico” refers to the spinal area of the neck which is called the cervical spine. There are seven spinal bones called vertebrae that make up our cervical spine. “Brachial” is a term that means arm. “Radiculopathy” denotes a pain that radiates or travels. Thus, CR is pain that radiates down the arm with it’s origin coming from the neck.
Typically, the cervical vertebrae become misaligned and pinch upon exiting nerves that travel into the arm. At times, a cervical disc, which is a type of specialized cartilage that sits between the vertebrae, can bulge, protrude or herniate against nerves which causes radiating pain.
A research study in the Archives of Medical Sciences, June 2018 describes pain that extends from the neck into the shoulder and arm. The study found that patients treated by a form of treatment performed by doctors of chiropractic called mobilization, for six weeks experienced improvements in both pain and function. The research team concluded, “our findings challenge the role of pharmacologic versus manual therapy as possible treatments that may improve pain intensity and upper limb functionality in subjects with cervical radiculopathy.”
Insight we can gain from this research indicates there are treatments from pharmacological drugs and treatment from hands-on manual therapy. Medications typically tend to either reduce inflammation or provide pain killing approaches. Manual therapy tends to look at methods to realign misaligned cervical vertebrae and to reduce cervical disc protrusions.
Chiropractors are considered to be experts in providing manual therapy to give pain relief of pain radiating down the arm. A chiropractor will examine the patient’s cervical spine and usually obtain x-rays in the initial evaluation visit. Once the chiropractor determines where the misalignment and/or disc problem is located gentle, safe, hands-on chiropractic care can be given to correct the cause of cervical radiculopathy.
Anyone seeking relief of pain traveling down the arm would certainly benefit from consulting with a chiropractor for this terribly uncomfortable condition.