Most people take for granted how much we use our arms throughout the day, until there is pain or injury that limits their use!
In fact, your shoulder and is the most mobile and frequently used joint in your body. This combination of frequency and mobility can lead to vatiety of injuries and sources of pain.
Sometimes the cause of pain is obvious – you are a weekend warrior who “overdid it”, an unfortunate participant in a car accident, a person lifting too much weight at work or home, or just “slept wrong.” These injuries typically cause immediate pain and inflammation as a result of muscle, soft tissue, joint, or nerve damage and irritation.
However, many people develop arm pain gradually over time, without any recall of a specific injury. This often leads to a vague diagnosis of arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, or even frozen shoulder.
Arm pain can also be “referred pain”. An example of this is the sensation of pain down the left arm that people feel during a heart attack. Another example is gall bladder inflammation that appears under the right shoulder blade. Stomach inflammation can refer pain to the left shoulder. This is because your organs, muscles, and joints are connected and attached to each other via the muscles, fascia, and nerves. A careful history and examination can give us clues about referred pain being a possible culprit.
Another common cause of arm pain is due to nerve irritation that begins at the spine. If the area where the nerves leave the spine becomes narrowed due to the spine not moving properly, or there is inflammation in the joints that the nerve passes through, it becomes irritated and often produces pain up and down its entire path. The pain associated with carpal tunnel and golfers elbow are a good examples of this type of nerve pain.
Due to the complexity of the joints and the number of possible causes, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Our doctors at Frederick Chiropractic Wellness Center will get a detailed history and do a full orthopedic and neurologic evaluation to determine the diagnosis and best treatment options.
Once we figure out the likely causes of your arm pain, we use a combination of treatments to relieve pain, and improve mobility and strength.