If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night with an arm heavy and numb and maybe slightly tingling, you know how that surreal feeling can turn painful as the nerves come back to life. When your arm “falls asleep” like this, it’s not a problem. In a few minutes, you’re back to normal. But if you’re experiencing similar sensations and you can’t identify the reason (meaning, you didn’t sleep oddly on your arm or something similar), you are probably looking for solutions.
What Causes Arm Pain, Arm Tingling, and Arm Numbness?
It is almost impossible to diagnosis arm pain, tingling, and numbness without a thorough physical examination. Causes range from completely benign to immediate medical emergencies, like stroke. If the sensations in your arm are accompanied by changes in vision or speech, a sudden headache, loss of balance, or a drooping on one side of your face, call an ambulance immediately, as these are signs of a stroke. Luckily, most arm pain, tingling, and numbness is not nearly as serious as a stroke.
Arm pain is a very generic description of what could be dozens of problems. If you’ve had a sudden injury, arm pain could be a bone fracture or break. If you think you may have suffered a bone fracture or break, seek medical attention to make sure the bone is set properly. Poorly healed broken and fractured bones can lead to pain and further injury down the road.
But if your arm pain is sometimes (or always) accompanied by tingling and numbness anywhere in your arm, it may be a signal that something is off with your nervous system. These sensations may be indication that a nerve is being “pinched” or has suffered damage. Especially if you have numbness, pain, and/or tingling in your hands or fingers, the first diagnosis may be carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the small opening in the wrist bone becomes inflamed and the nerves that pass through this opening are impinged. Carpal tunnel is generally associated with tingling, numbness, and pain in the patient’s hands and fingers. However, carpal tunnel can also cause the same symptoms throughout your arm and especially near your elbow. In fact, some patients are misdiagnosed with tennis elbow when carpal tunnel is actually the problem.
Did You Know?
Many physicians will offer only two “fixes” for carpal tunnel syndrome: anti-inflammatory medications and, if those don’t work, surgery. During carpal tunnel surgery, the surgeon creates a larger hole in the middle of the wrist bone to allow more room for the nerves, ligaments, and tendons to pass through. While carpal tunnel surgery is considered a relatively safe and easy surgery, it’s still a surgery and, as with any surgery, comes with certain risks, including infection and problems related to anesthesia. The worst part is that many patients who have carpal tunnel surgery have noted a recurrence of symptoms only a few months or years after surgery.
Chiropractic Care Offers Alternative Treatments for Arm Pain, Tingling, and Numbness
Chiropractic care can address arm pain, tingling, and numbness is two ways that are often overlooked by physicians. First of all, chiropractic care always emphasizes non-surgical, non-invasive treatments and the use of natural care over medication as a first step. We strive to alleviate pain and solve a patient’s problem without medication and surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel or are experiencing arm pain, tingling, and numbness and think it might be carpal tunnel, chiropractic care has solutions that may help. Your chiropractor will do a quick physical examination to determine if there might be anything else causing your arm pain, tingling, and numbness – more on that in a minute. But if it does appear to be carpal tunnel, your chiropractor will have a number of different treatments that they may recommend to you.
First of all, your chiropractor can perform gentle adjustments to your wrist, arm, and shoulder, which may help free up the nerves causing the pain. Secondly, your chiropractor may suggest that you ice your wrist to help control inflammation. They may also direct you to certain stabilizing braces, especially if you are engaged in work that causes repetitive motion, such as typing at a computer.
But many chiropractors are discovering that arm pain, tingling, and numbness is occasionally misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel and that the real problem is located in the patient’s neck, where the nerves that eventually travel through the carpal tunnel in your wrist originate. If your spine is out of alignment, this can cause pressure on the nerves in your neck. Even if the nerve is been impinged in your neck, you may not feel the effects where the impingent is happening: you may instead experience symptoms in your shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or fingers. Chiropractic adjustments to your spine can help alleviate pain in these situations.
If you are experiencing arm pain, tingling, and numbness or have been treated for arm pain, tingling, and numbness and haven’t been relieved of your symptoms, chiropractic care may offer the solution you’ve been looking for.