When you have neck and arm pain that won’t go away, it feels like you have hit a wall. You’ve tried ice, heating pads, OTC medications, and nothing relieves the nagging, and sometimes stabbing, pain. Let’s find out what causes this chronic pain and what can be done about it.
The most common cause of neck and arm pain is muscle strain. Poor posture while working at your computer, repetitive movements, and sleeping incorrectly can all cause muscle strain.
Age-Related Neck Pain
As we age, we develop many forms of arthritis affecting our shoulders, neck, and arms. Cervical spondylosis is one type of arthritis which occurs from wear and tear on our joints and discs. Sometimes called degenerative disc disease, it is a common cause of chronic neck pain.
As discs and cartilage degenerate, we can develop a bone spur. Pain from a spur can move from the joint of the vertebra and travel down the nerve to your arm, and it can also cause headaches. This does not usually heal on its own, but OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds, rest, and physical therapy can help.
A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like substance in the center of the disc leaks. This causes pressure and inflammation on the nerve and surrounding joints and tissue which leads to pain, numbness, and tingling radiating from your neck into the shoulder blade and down your arm.
Rest, physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds can help.
When Your Pain Is Chronic
Chronic pain means it doesn’t go away. Whether the chronic pain in your neck and arm is from age-related deterioration of joints, muscle strain, compression of nerves (pinched nerve), an injury, or is disease-related, talk with Dr. Marcie Merson.
Some of the above conservative treatments can help ease the pain and discomfort, but if it continues for days and involves numbness, it spreads down your arms and legs, and you develop a headache, see Dr. Merson in Palm Beach, FL for treatment.
Surgery may be recommended based on all your symptoms and their exact cause.
Contact Palm Beach Pain Institute at (561) 499-7020 if your neck and arm pain is chronic and at-home treatments do not help.