Arm Pain (Brachalgia)
Pain into the shoulder, arm & hand can, of course, be due to problems with the joints or ligaments of the arm but a nerve problem within the neck (cervical) spine is also a common cause. The different causes may mimic each other and are sometimes, initially, hard to separate. Mr Cass would use his experience and clinical judgement in making a preliminary diagnosis, usually confirmed with an MRI scan and sometimes other tests such as neurophysiology, nerve blocks or CT scans.
The symptoms can range from mild to severe & can include tingling, numbness, aching, and in more severe cases weakness of some of the muscles controlling the arm or hand.
The usual cause of nerve pain is entrapment or pressure on a nerve root just after it has left the spinal cord and is exiting the spine to begin its journey into your arm. The nerve may be impinged upon by a disc prolapse (slipped or herniated disc), an osteophyte (arthritic bone spur) or a hardened degenerate disc (osteodiscal bar) that is narrowing the exit hole where the nerve root leaves the spine.
If you’re arm pain is confirmed by Mr Cass to be coming from your spine, he will explain the situation with you & discuss appropriate treatment options. The situation in every person is unique and the options discussed will be appropriate for you. They may include simply keeping an eye on the situation, physical therapy, medication, injections or surgery. Surgery is usually always a last resort, but if offered may include decompression surgery, discectomy, fusion surgery or disc replacement surgery. If any of these are contemplated, Mr Cass would explain the procedure carefully including potential benefits & risks. You can read a little more on these options by clicking here.
If you are troubled by arm pain or weakness please contact us on 01273 828098 for an appointment.