If you have any pain down the arm and hand you might think that that problem is actually coming from (obviously) the arm or the hand. Chances are that arm pain that radiates into the hand is not coming from the arm or the hand. Let’s start talking about anatomy. As a chiropractor I focus on the nervous system. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord out of different nerves to every part of the body. And that’s the simple version of how our body works.
But I get it.
You feel that pain on the arm of the hand, it makes sense to feel like you have an arm or hand problem. Maybe it’s carpal tunnel? Maybe it’s a muscular issue? But those nerves that feed that arm and hand are all coming from the lower part of the neck and a misalignment in the spine that can be caused by old trauma that can be caused by repetitive issues that can be caused by poor posture.
We sit at our devices and our computers and things that bring our head forward. And the farther forward we go, the more problem we’re going to have with our posture. As a chiropractor, one of the things that I do is evaluate everything. So if you ever come into our office with pain down the arm and hand, we’re certainly going to look at the hand. We’re certainly going to look at the arm and make sure that we don’t have a shoulder issue and elbow issue, a rotator cuff problem, a muscle issue, actual carpal tunnel or fixation, and the rest. Those things are important, but chances are, we either have some compression in the neck or multiple areas of compression in the hand, elbow, shoulder, neck, and we have to address each of those areas.
That’s the way that you’re going to have a complete and total improvement in what we’re feeling. Otherwise, we can figure out a way to look at those areas and get you temporary pain relief. But the problem is only going to come back and maybe be worse and worse over time. So do we want to continue with addressing the, just the symptom of what you might be feeling in the arm or the hand, or are we going to go after the source of the problem, which is coming from the spine and the nervous system? If we address that neural cause it is going to change your health, it is going to change your life. And that is my goal for you.
Our R3 program, where we relieve the pain and discomfort, that you’re feeling that when we start to rebuild the structure and strengthen and stabilize and renew the body so that we’re actually achieving real complete health, that’s the key to really being healthy so much more than simply addressing the symptom.
EXERCISES FOR NECK PAIN RADIATING DOWN THE ARM
Here are a couple of things that you can try that may make a bit of a difference. They’re not necessarily going to correct your pain down the arm and hand, but they can help you to feel better. And as we’re working on making corrections, this is something can assist you. So if the problem is coming from the neck, a very common area is this muscle called the levator scapula. It connects your shoulder blade up into the neck. We get nerves that are caught in there. And then that starts to create problems in the shoulder, which then can affect you down the arms.
A way to stretch that as by looking down to the floor, turning away from the effective muscle and pulling your head down, if you can do that you’re gonna hold that for 10 to 15 seconds, do that four or five times and maybe twice a day that will give more more flexibility, more range of motion in that levator scapula muscle will help release any compression that’s coming out of the neck.
One of the other things that we can try is an exercise that can help because you have blood vessels that travel underneath the collarbone blood vessels and nerves that can get compressed that is called thoracic outlet syndrome.
The exercise that can help with this is the doorway stretch. You stand in the doorway, you put one arm on one side of the doorway, you put the other arm on the other side of the doorway. You hold on, you just kind of lean forward. And as you lean forward, you’re going to open up, you’re going to stretch these muscles. You’re going to open up the collarbone, open up the chest, and that’s going to relieve pressure on those nerves and those blood vessels. And that can affect you down the arms and into the hands. Something you can certainly try when you come into the office and we fully understand what’s going on, we typically will come up with the exact exercise protocol that will work for you, but it’s something you can try. Enjoy!