Have you ever had stinging or burning in your hands, shoulders or arms? You might have a problem in your brachial plexus. According to the Mayo Clinic, the brachial plexus “is the network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed, or in the most serious cases, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord.” Brachial plexus injuries can affect anyone of any age and is often manifested as shoulder, arm or hand pain.
What if the Pain is Minor?
Get treatment anyway! If you experience pain, decreased movement or sensation in the arm and shoulders, these symptoms may indicate that nerve problems are present. Experts advise, “It’s important to be evaluated and treated within six to seven months after the injury. Delays in treatment may compromise outcomes” of eventual therapy.
What Causes Shoulder, Arm or Hand Pain?
Injuries in the brachial plexus (a bundle of nerves in your neck) may be the result of:
- Stretch injuries
- Birth trauma
- Recent trauma such as vehicle accidents
- Tumors (but the least likely)
If during an unfortunate event, your shoulder and your neck are pulled in different directions as is common in whiplash injuries. Therefore, you might begin to suffer from hand, shoulder and arm pain. Because of the lack of knowledge on the brachial plexus, people often try to attribute this pain to other injuries.
What Symptoms Indicate a Plexus-related Injury?
The most frequently experienced symptoms linked to brachial plexus injury include numbness, weakness, tingling and/or pain. Try to think back to the time you first experienced this pain and if you had an accident or fall that occurred before that time.
Why Chiropractic for Treatment of this Pain?
The first step in recovery is to diagnose the condition through testing, such as an MRI, ultrasound, blood test or EMG. Often times after the problem is discovered, the patient is ordered to rest and given medications to reduce inflammation etc.
However, misalignment of the spine can impede or even cause nerve compression. Chiropractic and massage therapy treat the underlying condition and help avoid the adverse effects of pain or surgery. If you have experience a recent injury and have felt stinging or burning pain in your hands, arms, or shoulders, come in for a complementary consultation today.