Shoulder and arm pain are some of the most ubiquitous conditions people suffer from. There is a multitude of arm pain causes and mechanisms that are at its root. Many are seeking arm pain relief, however, most approaches employed are treating the symptoms, not the cause. In this article, we will address one underlying cause of arm pain that the general public is in the dark about, Blair Upper Cervical chiropractic care.
There are many arms pain triggers such as pregnancy, repetitive stress, improper ergonomics, long drives and other factors that stress the musculoskeletal system making people more prone to arm pain. Why does one person get pregnant and suffer arm pain when another doesn’t? Why does one person working a desk job suffer from terrible neck and arm pain and another is pain-free? In large part, arm pain of musculoskeletal origin is due to postural imbalance whose underlying cause is neck injury.
Musculoskeletal Arm Pain Causes
Muscle tone in the body is controlled and coordinated by two systems brain stem function and the movement of the joints in the upper cervical spine. Trauma damages the soft tissue in the neck and causes lost joint motion and increase musculoskeletal imbalance.
Commonly, neck injury produces tight muscles on one side of the neck and shoulder, the opposite side of the mid-back and same side of the low back. Asymmetry in muscle tone predisposes the body to become susceptible to the left arm and shoulder pain or right neck and shoulder pain. It is more common for one side of the body to hurt more than the other due to the pattern of muscle imbalance. Consequently, the stressors of life predominantly affect tight muscle groups resulting in pain.
Arm Pain and Numbness | Arm Pain and Weakness
Numbness and weakness can have their root in brachial (arm nerve roots) nerve entrapment. One cause of arm numbness, pain and weakness can be due to the scalene muscle spasm. The nerves that exit the lower neck supply the nerve supply to the arm and can be entrapped by the neck muscles. Postural imbalance, as discussed earlier in this article, can be caused by prior neck trauma and upper cervical spinal misalignment is the cause.
One mechanism for musculoskeletal entrapment is forward head posture. When the head is lurching forward the weight of the head must be balanced against gravity and as a result the muscles in the upper back, shoulders, and lower neck contract. Forward head posture due to upper cervical spinal misalignment.
Arm Pain While Sleeping
It is common for patients to complain about arm pain while sleeping. This can be the result of poor pillow height in combination with the underlying neck factors we have discussed above. Side sleepers need to have their pillow height between the bed and neck wide enough to accommodate the spine being straight at rest. If there is not enough support the neck is flexed downwards putting stress on the upside cervical musculature.
Long hours of stress can irritate the brachial plexus and either cause neck and shoulder pain in the morning or wake the individual in the middle of the night. Proper pillow selection is essential for spinal health.
Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic
We have been discussing upper cervical spine injury as an underlying factor in musculoskeletal imbalance. Next, we would like to briefly explain what a Blair Upper Cervical chiropractor does do you can appreciate its role in the prevention and correction of the underlying cause of musculoskeletal warm and neck pain.
What exactly does an upper cervical chiropractor do? Blair upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to locate and correct structural misalignments in the upper cervical spine. While the goal of Blair upper cervical care is not to correct posture, it is a side benefit of removing nerve interference. Since the postural centers are located in the brainstem, it is paramount that this area of the spine not be compromised by prior neck injury.
Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractors take precise imaging in the form of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) or digital x-ray to determine the exact direction of joint misalignment. This works because the joints in the neck are mirror images of one another.
Therefore, if a whiplash or other injury damages the soft tissue and ligaments that support the normal joint motion, and the joints become misaligned imaging each individual joint allows the doctor to see how you are out of alignment and the angulation of your joints. This information is then used to make a precise spinal correction unique to the individual's misalignment and anatomy.
Once corrected, the patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the body is healing, and the correction is staying in its normal range of motion. If on subsequent visits the vertebrae have misaligned another correction is administered.
If the objective tests indicate that there is no interference and the vertebrae are in their proper range of motion, then no correction is necessary. By monitoring a patient over time, and allowing the central nervous system to function normally, arm pain and other health conditions can recover under the body’s own control.