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Why Does My Severe Arm Pain Go Away When I Raise My Arm?

Arm PainA patient presents with unbearable arm pain. The elbow feels like its burning and the fingers are numb.

Is the problem in the arm or is the cause located somewhere else? The patient states when he raises his arm above his head the pain goes away. This is a strong indicator that the cause of the arm symptoms is from nerve pressure located in the lower neck or the upper back.

The nerves that exit out of the spine at those areas travel down the arm and can give us sensation and function in the arm. When there is pressure in those areas, it can refer pain/numbness into the arm. When the arm is raised, there is less tension in the effected nerves. I see this often in practice.

In order to confirm the source of the problem, we can palpate the neck and back to discover if the spine is out of alignment creating pressure on those nerves. I will also assess the arm itself to rule out if the source of pain can still be coming from that area as well.

However, the relief created from raising the arm helps greatly in narrowing down the diagnosis

Arm or leg pain can be very severe! Chiropractic treatment can be very effective in correcting this problem. Often there is a lot of inflammation in the nerves and surrounding areas. Therefore, applying ice to the effected spinal areas is vital to help lower inflammation.

Yours in Health
Dr Marty

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