Arm pain or numbness can be caused by many different conditions. Some are initiated by trauma such as a sports injury, slip and fall or an auto accident. Others develop over time: repetitive motions, poor body mechanics or life style habits can cause an inflammation and irritation of various muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves. Depending upon location, each structure has a particular pain pattern.
There are numerous causes of arm pain or numbness. Besides fractures and dislocations from trauma, some of the more common causes of arm pain or numbness include:
- Bursitis – Bursae are fluid filled sacs near many joints that act as cushions. Repeated motion or mechanical stress can cause these to become inflamed and painful.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – This condition is an irritation or compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist. Key symptoms are numbness or tingling in the thumb and first two fingers.
- Cervical Spondylosis – this is a generalized term for degenerative changes in the spinal discs of the neck. Due to improper motion over a long period of time, the normal disc begins to wear thin. Sometimes so thin, it compresses or irritates nerves that run down the arm producing the arm pain or numbness. This can lead to the condition below: cervical radiculopathy
- Cervical Radiculopathy – this is irritation or inflammation of a nerve root as it exits the spine in the neck area. These nerve roots can be compressed by bulging disc, degenerative discs or bone spurs. Damage to the nerve can cause pain or numbness in different parts of the arm and hand, depending on what nerve is involved.
- Tennis Elbow or Golfers Elbow – These two conditions are very similar: they are inflamed tendons of your elbow. Tennis Elbow is the outside of the elbow, while Golfers Elbow is the inside. Due to overworked, faulty mechanics or repetitive motion, these tendons become irritated and inflamed.
As you can see, there are many different causes of arm pain or numbness. The key to successful treatment is a thorough assessment and diagnosis. In many cases, the cause can consist of multiple problems. Since many are of a mechanical nature, the causative factor can affect more than one area.
Dr. Martin Schmaltz has years of experience in treating arm pain or numbness: in particular with numbness or tingling in the hand or carpal tunnel syndrome. His additional training in sports injury and rehab provide him a unique approach to upper extremity problems.
After a thorough history, exam and x-rays (if necessary), Dr. Schmaltz will be able to recommend a treatment plan to not only relief your pain but assist in determining and changing the causative factors.
If you are experiencing arm pain or numbness? Do you live in Hazelwood, Florissant, Spanish Lakes, Ferguson, Berkeley, Bridgeton or North County If yes, you owe it to yourself to call Dr. Schmaltz at 314-731-4383. All you have to lose is your pain!