When we hear those types of complaints in the office, the first structure that we assess surprisingly isn't your arm or your hand, it's your neck. This is because the nerves that come out of the middle to lower neck actually go down the arm to supply the arm with nerves. 

Most likely in these cases, it's actually a lower neck issue, and you're just experiencing those symptoms down the course of that nerve traveling down the arm. 

Typically, when we hear those types of complaints in the office patients come in and they tell us they're having numbness, tingling, burning, or sometimes it's just downright straight pain going into that upper extremity.

We need to do a full assessment of the neck to determine what is causing those symptoms because there are a couple of mechanisms that can promote these symptoms. 

Oftentimes just with simple movements of the neck, the patient can feel the arm and/or hand symptoms change. That's a good indicator that that neck might be causing those nerve-related symptoms.

Whether the symptoms increase or decrease, that is information provided to us that will help us determine the best treatment plan. 

The two main mechanisms that can promote symptoms traveling into the arm are

  1. Disc-related issues
  2. Stenosis. 

We will discuss these mechanisms a little bit further in part two of this video series so stay posted. 

However, if you are experiencing symptoms in your arm and hand, just be aware that the neck might actually be the culprit. A thorough evaluation and examination, we will determine where the symptoms are coming from and help with your discomfort.

Dr. Tim Klesk

Dr. Tim Klesk

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