Arm Pain Treatment
What causes arm pain?
Any injury or trauma that affects the arm. Sprains, strains, and fractures are the most common types of acute arm injuries. Minor arm injuries are common and are caused by normal everyday wear and tear or overuse. Sport is one of the main causes of arm injuries.
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Is the pain actually coming from my arm?
The arm area is a common referral point for a pain that is actually coming from a different part of the body. When people get this type of pain they will commonly get a combination of the symptoms listed below:
Injuries to the neck and shoulder area are common for pain radiating down into the arm. Neck pain radiating down the arms is often caused by cervical spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. Tendonitis of the shoulder often causes pain to refer down the upper part of the arm.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the area of the spine where the nerve leaves the spine and travels to the rest of the body.
This narrowing can be caused by many things: herniated disc, bone spurs, thickened ligaments, thickened bony structures, trauma, arthritis, and tumours.
As the nerve leaves the spine, it travels through an opening created by bony structures of the spine above and below the nerve. If the size of this area is decreased, the decreasing can lead to irritation and 'pinching' of the nerve, leading to pain and sometimes loss of function. The nervous system is the 'communication system' of your body, so anything interfering with this communication can cause loss of mobility as well as pain and discomfort.
What is a herniated disc?
When the outer lining that surrounds the disc tears, the soft centre squeezes out through the opening, creating a herniated disc. This protrusion can then put pressure on a nerve leading to pain.
When a nerve root or the spinal cord is being pinched, you may experience pain in your neck, and pain or numbness in one or both of your arms and hands. In severe cases, the muscles that are controlled by the nerve root that is being compressed by the disc herniation may become weak.
The pain that you feel in your neck, back and arms can come from a combination of a tear in the annulus fibrosis, from the pressure that the disc herniation puts on the nerve, or from irritation, inflammation and swelling within the nerve.
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Greg Bantick has been in practice since 1975 in a wide variety of clinical settings. He has particular interests in dermatology, digestive, mood and auto-immune disorders.
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