Many patients will present with pain and/or numbness in the arm. In many cases, the discomfort will be associated with neck pain and move from the cervical spine into the arms. However, individuals may have pain isolated to the arm only.
Pain Radiating Into the Arms
In the majority of cases, the symptoms are secondary to an irritated or pinched nerve traveling from the spine into the arm. The nerves in the arms come from the low back or lumbar region.
If the individual has a bad disc, stenosis, significant arthritis with bone spurs, the nerves that travel into the arm may become inflamed resulting in severe pain, numbness, or even weakness. An MRI, CT, or EMG may be necessary to determine the exact source of pain. Nerve testing (NCS/EMG) is generally recommended to determine if there is nerve compression in the arms (such as the elbow or at the wrist with carpal tunnel syndrome). Nonsurgical treatment options include, but are not limited to, trigger point injections, epidural steroid, selective nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulators, and physical therapy.