All movement in the shoulders, arms and hands is controlled by the brain. From there, the brain is in contact with the rest of your body through billions of nerves that make up your nervous system.
Some nerves go straight to their destination point, but others mix with other nerves to form nerve networks called a ‘plexus.’ The brachial plexus is located anatomically at the anterior junction of your neck and upper extremity. It is made up of numerous nerves that branch out of the middle and upper back and supply information to the shoulders, arm, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers.
The nerves that make up the brachial plexus may become irritated as they leave the spinal column. Things as serious as an accident or simply sitting at a desk with incorrect posture can irritate the nerves located in the brachial plexus. Symptoms from damage to the brachial plexus can differ depending on location of the trauma, but may include numbness into the arm and hand or decreased motor control in the upper extremity. In addition, it is not uncommon to experience headaches, facial pain, dizziness, thyroid or nasal problems as a result of brachial plexus nerve irritation.
Common symptoms of shoulder, arm, wrist, or hand pain are:
- Muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Decreased range of motion in the neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist
You use your hands for almost everything. From cooking, to cleaning, to writing, and even brushing your teeth, so many of your daily activities are directly dependent on the health of the 29 bones and 34 muscles in each hand. Hand pain can occur from a variety of reasons ranging from old age, chronic damage from work related tasks, to injuries sustained from mechanical accidents. Injury to joints, nerves, bones, and tendons are approached very differently so it is important to evaluate the true source of pain. Contrast therapy which involves an alternating treatment of heat and ice is most commonly suggested for all hand injuries. At your appointment at Custom Chiropractor, we can determine the underlying cause and best treatment for your hand pain.
One very common condition we treat at CC is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The symptoms of CTS include tingling and numbness in the hand, fingers, wrist, shoulder, elbow and neck. The pain can be incredibly intense and has been reported to awaken patients at night due to extreme pain.This pain is often caused by chronic excess pressure at your wrist, which leads to inflammation. The compression of the median nerve causes the hand to “fall asleep” frequently and drop objects without warning.
Your chiropractor is able to use chiropractic adjustments to the spine and upper extremity, soft tissue work, and exercises to reduce or eliminate your wrist pain. They can also provide ergonomic education for your work set up, sleeping position, and everyday tasks.
Shoulder pain is another common complaint of patients at Custom Chiropractor. This highly mobile joint that can be injured in a variety of ways.
SHOULDER ANATOMY: The shoulder is made up of three bones: the scapula, humerus and clavicle bones. Each of the bones articulates with each other in separate joints, the most significant of which is the ball-in socket joint connecting the humerus with the scapula. The glenohumeral joint gives the shoulder its range of free motion, however in doing so it sacrifices stability of the articulating bones. The bones overcome this somewhat by relying on surrounding muscles and tendons (also known as the rotator cuff) to stabilize the bones. Therefore, any damage or injury to any of the stabilizers can be extremely painful and severely restrict the shoulders range of motion.
Common causes of shoulder pain
COMMON CAUSES OF SHOULDER PAIN
POOR POSTURE: Continuous poor posture overworks the muscles in the upper back and causes an imbalance within the body leaving the shoulders hunched forward to compensate. Overtime, this strains the shoulder muscles and can lead to chronic shoulder pain.
TRAUMA: Any damage to the rotator cuff tendons can lead to instability and reduce overall function of the shoulder. Trauma is a common cause of dislocation of the shoulder joint or fracture.
DEGENERATION: Damage to the shoulder anatomy, through injury, accidents, or poor posture, can create degeneration. This causes the articular cartilage and other soft tissues to wear down. When this happens, this can create bone on bone articulations, which can be painful without their normal soft cushioning of cartilage, labrum, and ligaments.
OVERUSE: Tendonitis is a common sports injury that arises from continued overuse of the shoulder tendons, which attach muscle to bone. Overtime, little tears within the tendon cause inflammation and tenderness within the region. Overextending your shoulder can stretch the muscle fiber too much and cause tears within the tissue. Damaged tissue cannot adequately support the shoulder and may leave restrictive scar tissue after it has been healed.
ADHESIVE CAPSULITIS OR FROZEN SHOULDER: Stiffness within the shoulder joint can occur as the capsules surrounding the shoulder muscle tendons thicken and restrict their movement. Frozen shoulder has no known cause, though it is correlated with diabetes or prolonged cast usage following a severe injury.
Our approach to treating shoulder, arm, wrist, or hand pain
Here at Custom Chiropractor, your chiropractic will be able to diagnose your pain and decide on the best form of care. Depending on the severity or mechanism of your pain, your chiropractor can determine if chiropractic care is right for you. Our chiropractors utilize many different modalities to compliment chiropractic adjustments. These may include Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, Kinesiology Taping, Cupping, and various other soft tissue therapies. We also value patient education and will tailor an exercise or ergonomic program to get you back to a pain-free healthy lifestyle.
How to make an appointment
To schedule an appointment, please call us at 408-248-8700 or visit our website at customchiropractor.com.
After scheduling your appointment, intake forms will be conveniently emailed to you to complete prior to your initial evaluation. These forms will include questions about your motor vehicle accident so our chiropractors can get a clear picture on how to get you back to your pain-free life again.