Arm Pain

This page offers the answers to some of the most common questions related to pain occurring within your arms, as well as the procedures used to diagnose and treat it effectively. Click on the questions to reveal the answers. Additional questions and answers about spine-related pain and our procedures are featured in the Ask the Doctors section.

  1. Most definitely. Nerves in the neck can become irritated and produce pain in your arm without causing any direct pain in your neck.

  2. Muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, circulation and injury to the peripheral nerves (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy or RSD) may also be the source of pain in your arm.

  3. “Referred” pain is pain that is felt somewhere other than the location where the problem or any injury has occurred. For instance, referred pain can be pain in the arm that actually is coming from the neck.

  4. Yes. Despite a “normal” EMG, it is still possible to have irritated nerves in the neck that are causing pain in your arm. While an EMG/nerve conduction study is a good test, it is not as sensitive for finding the source of nerve pain as the procedures that we have developed for diagnosing arm pain from the neck.

  5. “Shooting” pain in the arm, which occurs when you sneeze or cough, may be a sign of a pinched nerve in the neck.

  6. Yes. An MRI is an indirect image of the spine and does not always show everything. In addition, an MRI usually is taken while you are laying down. Nerves can shift when you change positions, especially if your pain is worse with when you stand or sit. The disk can leak part of its “jelly” center—or nucleus—around the nerves, which can cause significant chemical inflammation and pain. Our procedures can dramatically reduce the pain and inflammation resulting in increased circulation and healing.

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