ARM TINGLING AND NUMBNESS: IT COULD BE YOUR NECK
A CHIROPRACTIC APPROACH TO ARM AND HAND COMPLAINTS
BY DR. JOSEPH J. MURPHY

You're familiar with the scenario and symptoms. Sometimes during the day, you notice that you get a tingling or burning sensation in your upper arm. Occasionally, you may notice it in your hand as well. After you write for a while or work on the computer, you notice your hand gets tingly and numb; sometimes even slightly painful. The tingling and numbness can come and go, but one thing is for sure: after you've slept, (especially when not in the best position), you wake up and your hand is almost completely numb.

What causes this phenomenon? Most people, and even some doctors believe it's caused by "poor circulation". The "poor circulation" will cut off the blood flow while you're sleeping and cause your hands to be numb in the morning. Other's think they might have carpal tunnel syndrome or a problem within the arm itself. This most times is not the cause.

What causes arm tingling and numbness? Well, there can be many causes. Most of the time it is from irritation or pinching of a nerve where it passes from your neck down to the point it reaches your fingertips. Rarely is it caused by poor circulation inside your arm.

We as chiropractors have long understood that most arm numbness and tingling is caused by choking of the nerve at the point it leaves your neck. In many cases, the person that has this problem doesn't experience neck pain, only arm pain or numbness and tingling or hand numbness and tingling. One of the cardinal signs is the fact that after the person falls asleep and wakes up, the numbness and tingling is much worse.

You may ask yourself why, if it's a problem with the neck, why does it seem to get worse when I use my hand or wrist? The nerve in your arm goes from your neck (spine) to your fingers. To put it in simple terms, if you thought of the nerve in your arm as a garden hose and you reduced the water pressure in the garden hose at the source, (the neck), you would notice you had less water pressure coming out of the end of the garden hose, (the fingers). Now, if you were to step on the garden hose somewhere along the length of the hose, for instance, at the wrist, the elbow or the shoulder, the water pressure would be decreased even further at the end (fingertips). The actual source of the original loss of pressure (or choking of the nerve) is from the neck, however.

At the Suburban Chiropractic Center, we take a very comprehensive approach in diagnosing and treating arm pain and numbness. We get excellent results from conditions that we can treat; conditions that require other medical attention are referred to appropriate specialists. Most cases of arm pain and numbness, however, have been treated successfully with chiropractic care.

How do you know whether or not your case of arm pain and numbness can be helped by chiropractic? The only way is through a comprehensive evaluation and assessment. Don't continue to suffer with arm pain and numbness just chalking it up to poor circulation that occurs with age. Have yourself evaluated by us and see if you can be treated successfully as many have been.

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