Do you have arm pain?
Most people take for granted how much we use our arms throughout the day, until there is pain or injury that limits use! In fact, our shoulder and is the most mobile and frequently used joint in our bodies. This combination of frequency and mobility has led to a wide range of possible injuries and sources of pain. Our Frederick chiropractic clinic is here to help.
Sometimes people come to see us completely aware of what caused their pain. Whether they were a weekend warrior who overused the joint in an athletic competition, an unfortunate participant in a car accident, a person lifting too much weight at work or home, or a grandmother who fell asleep holding her grandchild in one position all night. Typically, these situations cause almost an immediate pain or discomfort as a result of muscle, bone, or nerve damage and irritation.
However, many people develop arm pain gradually over time and are relatively unaware of what may have caused it. When the patient is perplexed by what may have caused the pain, arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, and frozen shoulder become likely suspects. In addition to these sources of pain, switching or taking new medications such as antibiotics, birth control, and anxiety medications have been shown to contribute to the development of joint pain.
If this list of possible causes wasn’t confusing enough, it has also been shown that arm pain is often caused by “referred pain”. This pattern of pain is often used to describe the sensation of pain down the left arm that people feel during the start of a heart attack. This is because your organs, muscles, and joints are connected and attached to each other via the muscles, fascia, and nerves. Another example of a referred pain pattern is the pain that an inflamed gall bladder causes under the right shoulder blade. Stomach inflammation can refer pain to the left shoulder.
Frequently, our doctors at Frederick Chiropractic Wellness Center see patients who present with arm pain that is being referred from nerve irritation that begins at the spine. If the spaces where the nerves leave the spine become narrowed due to the vertebral joints not moving properly, or there is inflammation in the joints that the nerve passes through, the nerve becomes irritated and often produces pain up and down its entire path. The pain patterns associated with carpal tunnel or golfers elbow are a good example of this mechanism.
Due to the complexity of the joints and the vast number of possible causes, it is important that you see someone who is trained in these areas to get an accurate diagnosis. Our doctors at Frederick Chiropractic Wellness Center will use a detailed and complete approach to figure out what is exactly causing your pain, and as a result, the best possible treatment solution for it. Typically, our office will use a combination of a thorough history, physical examination, and advanced imaging to get to the root cause of your problems. Through their education and experience, our doctors are also able to use the location of the pain, aggravating or alleviating factors, type of pain sensation, and other symptoms such as joint and muscle function swelling, skin changes, and bruising as other tools to assist in the diagnosis.
As with any condition, you want to start with treating the most common and typical cause of the pain and symptoms first. Many people are surprised when they see that many of the nerves in our body travel from our spine all the way to the ends of our fingertips and toes.
Our doctors at Frederick Chiropractic Wellness Center have found over many years that misalignments and restricted movement of the vertebrae in the neck and upper back are responsible for the vast majority of arm and pain. We also look at the shoulder, wrist, and elbow movement, because they all have to work and move together! If one joint isn’t moving properly, it causes irritation and pain in the other joints and the nerves passing through them.
By doing a full evaluation to find the source of the problem, patients at our office have experienced high levels of success for many kinds ot arm pain with chiropractic treatment.