We request NOT to leave medical information on this site. Thank you!
Skip to main content

That Pain In Your Arm May Stem from Your Spine

That Pain In Your Arm May Stem from Your Spine

Your arm appears fine, but you’re experiencing pain and maybe other symptoms in the limb, such as numbness and tingling. If this sounds familiar, the problem may not be located in your arm at all, but, rather, in your spine.

As spine health experts, the team here at Texas Spine Consultants, including Michael Hennessy, MDRobert Viere, MDAndrew Park, MDChester Donnally, MD, and Heidi Lee, MD, understand the widespread effects that problems in your spine can have, including arm pain.

The foundation of your peripheral nervous system

Your spine plays many important roles, and one of the chief among them is providing passage for your peripheral nervous system. Along your spine, there are 31 nerve roots that branch out to form your peripheral nervous system — eight in your cervical spine (neck), 12 in your thoracic spine (mid back), five in your lumbar spine (lower back), and six that branch out from your sacrum and coccyx.

How a problem in your spine can lead to arm pain

If you have a problem along your cervical or thoracic spine that’s compressing a nerve root or group of nerves, you can experience symptoms in seemingly unrelated areas as the problem extends down the length of the nerve.

When you’re experiencing unexplained arm pain, this may signal a pinched nerve in your cervical or thoracic spine. Called radiculopathy, this nerve compression affects the function of the nerves that branch out from the nerve roots.

For example, if you have a disc that’s bulging in your neck, it can press up against the nerve root that serves as the foundation of the sensory nerves in your arms and hands.

While we’re discussing arm pain here, other symptoms that often accompany cervical radiculopathy include numbness and tingling in your hands.

While a herniated disc in your neck is one of the primary causes of cervical radiculopathy, the problem can also occur due to degenerative disc disease, cervical spinal stenosis, and arthritis.

Relieving your arm pain

The best way to find out whether your arm pain is related to your spine is to come see us. We first review your symptoms and your medical history and then we use advanced imaging, such as an x-ray or an MRI, to get a closer look at the structures in your spine.

If we identify a problem in your neck, we provide you with treatments that should help to resolve the issue, as well as the discomfort in your arm. What these steps are very much depend on the underlying problem and include:

In advanced cases, we may need to go in surgically to relieve the pressure on the nerve roots in your neck.

To get started on finding relief for your arm pain, please contact one of our offices in Addison or Plano, Texas, to set up an appointment. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Advantages of Disc Replacement Over Spinal Fusion

You’re in a considerable amount of pain thanks to a bad disc in your neck or lower back and you want to understand your surgical options better. Here, we explore spinal fusion versus artificial disc replacement.

Is Spinal Stenosis Reversible?

The answer to the question we pose in the title is — no, spinal stenosis is not reversible. This doesn’t mean that you’re not without treatment options that can help you move more freely. Here’s what you need to know.

5 Tips to Ease Your Recovery from Spine Surgery

You’ve determined that the best road to relief from your back or neck pain is spine surgery. With that decision made, it’s a good idea to spend some time preparing in advance so that your recovery goes smoothly.

The Advantages of Disc Replacement in Your Neck

A disc in your neck has broken down to the point where pain and stiffness are greatly impacting your life. Instead of removing the diseased disc, we can replace it with an artificial disc that offers many benefits.