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Ask the Experts
Neck & Arm Pain
Neck pain is a common complaint for a large portion of the population at any age. This kind of pain can often be debilitating and can make performing even the most simple tasks extremely difficult. It can spring from serious back or nerve issues such as a pinched nerve, herniated disc, or underlying spinal/vertebrae issues.
Problems in the cervical spine- or the section of the spine in your neck, can cause pain in the neck as well as numbness and weakness in the arms.
Symptoms of Neck & Arm Pain
In most cases, the pain of cervical radiculopathy starts at the neck and travels down the arm in the area served by the damaged nerve. This pain is usually described as burning or sharp. Certain neck movements—like extending or straining the neck or turning the head—may increase the pain. Other symptoms include:
- Tingling or the feeling of “pins and needles” in the fingers or hand
- Weakness in the muscles of the arm, shoulder, or hand
- Loss of sensation
Causes & Effects
Potential causes of neck and arm pain include:
- Wear on a disc can cause the outer layer to rupture, creating a hernia.
- The herniated disc can push on the spinal canal and nerve roots, causing pain, numbness, and weakness.
- A bulging disc can also put pressure on the nerve, but the disc does not actually rupture as with a herniated disc.
- Injury to the neck or head
- Since bone spurs can put pressure on discs, the discs can flatten, dehydrate, and become degenerate.
Knee Replacement Treatments of Dr. Raviprakash
neck & arm pain
- Reduce pain and stiffness
- Improve head and neck range of motion
- Develop dynamic strengthening of the neck and its supporting musculature
- Develop strategies to prevent pain from recurring
Problems in the cervical spine- or the section of the spine in your neck, can cause pain in the neck as well as numbness and weakness in the arms. Not every person with neck pain also develops arm pain, but if it does occur it is called cervical radiculopathy.
Cervical radiculopathy, commonly called a “pinched nerve” occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated where it branches away from the spinal cord. This may cause pain that radiates into the shoulder, as well as muscle weakness and numbness that travels down the arm and into the hand.
- soft cervical collar.
- hot or cold compress.
- practicing good posture.
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
A pinched nerve in the cervical spine can give you a stiff neck, and the pain and numbness can affect the shoulder and arm.
How to sleep with cervical radiculopathy
1.Sleeping on your back: This is the optimal sleeping position as it is the easiest to properly brace your head and position your neck. ...
2.Sleeping on your side: This position is not as preferred as laying on your back, but it is better than on your stomach.
Self-care measures for neck & arm include:
Stretch your neck gentlyThe first thing you need to do, if you wake up with severe neck pain, is to stretch a little bit. Moving your head gently will increase the blood flow in a particular area and reduce inflammation.
Apply a hot or a cold compress A hot or a cold compress can also help you to get quick relief from a stiff neck. Compress relaxes your muscles and increases the flow of blood in the neck. It will also help in numbing the pain.
Soak yourself in warm water Nothing is better than warm water with Epsom salt to get rid of the stiff neck. This warm water bath helps to relax and soothe the tightened muscles, while the salt helps to reduce inflammation and improve the blood flow.
Massage with essential oils You can gently massage your neck with essential oils for immediate relief. Take a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil and mix it with coconut oil. Massage your neck properly with this concoction.