Neck Pain and Arm Tingling. Are They Related?
Updated: Oct 14
A few months ago I had a new patient come into my office for his first chiropractic appointment. His health history form stated that his main problem was low back and sciatica
pain (which is pain going down his leg).
After discussing this symptom in depth, I asked him what other pain or issues he had. He casually mentioned that he had neck pain that flared up from time to time as well as a tingling sensation in his right hand and forearm. The tingling usually occurred when he slept in a certain way and the feeling would wake him up. He wasn’t sure what caused it or what to do about it because it prevented him from getting a good night’s sleep and affected him the next day. I told him that the neck pain and the tingling were related because there are nerves in the neck that travel down the arm and end at the fingers. When a bone is misaligned in the neck, it can irritate a nerve which can cause symptoms like tingling (or pins and needles or numbness) to travel down the arm. He was really surprised when I told him this. He had always thought that the two problems had different causes. He agreed to have an examination during which I found quite a few misalignments in his neck that, I thought, were causing the pain and tingling. After receiving adjustments over the course of a couple of weeks, he reported that the tingling in his arm and the pain in his neck were gone! Now he could be more well rested and pain free! Even athletes suffer from this. A few years ago Tiger Woods had to pull out of the Player’s Championship golf tournament because of these symptoms. He was experiencing neck pain that was spreading down his arm. It was found that the pain was caused by an inflamed joint in his neck! For many people, this was the first time they had ever heard of these two symptoms going hand in hand before. (ha-ha!) They never knew that neck pain and arm tingling could be connected.
As a chiropractor, this is something that I hear about almost every day and when caught and treated early, it can be an easy condition to get rid off.