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Arm Pain and Upper Cervical Care

Updated: Feb 7

Arm Pain and Upper Cervical Care

Did you know that the nerves in the hands and forearm are rooted in the neck area? If you’re experiencing shoulder, arm, or hand pain, numbness, tingling, or burning, subluxations in the Upper Cervical Spine could be your culprit. Read on to discover more.

What Causes Pain or Numbness in the Shoulders, Arms, and Hands?

While there are a number of reasons for pain or numbness in the shoulders, arms, and hands, including injury, compression, and nerve issues, here are a few of the most common causes:


Arthritis is the inflammation and gradual degeneration of the protective cartilage in your joints. The acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) is the most common joint in the shoulder to develop arthritis.


The bursa is located between a tendon and skin or between a tendon and bone, protecting the joint and helping to create fluid movements. Bursitis is an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac or bursa.


Tendonitis occurs when tendons become compressed on a rigid bone. Inflammation or damage to the compressed tendons can cause pain. Repetitive motions in our daily activities can cause tendonitis.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of connective tissue and small bones that holds the median nerve and tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is inflammation or narrowing of your carpal tunnel that applies pressure on a nerve inside.

Pinched Nerves:

A pinched nerve occurs when cartilage, tendons, or muscles apply too much weight to a nerve. This pinching can cause numbness, tingling, or burning and may not allow the nerve to work right. Pinched nerves can be caused by injury, illness, and even poor posture.


From sprains and strains to overuse, rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, and other sports injuries, as some of the most mobile and widely used parts of the body, injuries to the hands, arms, and shoulders are common.

How Is Arm Pain Connected to the Upper Cervical Region?

As we said above, pain and numbness in the shoulders, arms, and hands can be caused by your neck. That’s because all of the nerves in the hands and forearm are rooted in the neck and, more specifically, the upper cervical spine.

When pressure is applied to your upper cervical spine, many conditions may arise as the top vertebrae of your spine also protect your brain stem, which helps normalize your bodily functions. When the misalignment or subluxations are present, it can cause various conditions to develop, including muscle weakness, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pinched nerves as the vertebrae shift from their proper position.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help With Arm Pain

We have covered some of the typically thought of common causes of shoulder, arm, and hand pain already, but the truth is the most common cause of arm pain comes from the cervical spine. When subluxations occur, they can cause the nerves that exit the spine and run down your arms to be pinched, irritated, or have pressure on them.

When you experience pain in your hand, arm, or shoulder — aside from an injury — the underlying cause may have been progressing for several years. Only 10% of your nervous system feels pain, so pain is often the last warning that something is wrong and needs to be corrected.

Shoulder, hand, and arm pain can manifest itself in various ways. It can include discomfort or numbness, or even tingling. Upper Cervical Chiropractors are trained in diagnosing misalignments in the upper cervical spine. They are experts at correcting subluxations (misalignments).

At Atlas Specific in Durango, Colorado. Shoulder, arm, and hand pain are conditions we treat on a daily basis. We do this by working to find the underlying source of your problem, correcting it, and making sure the surrounding ligament and muscles in your shoulders, arms, and hands are able to function properly and pain-free. When everything is aligned correctly and the nerve supply is optimal, you’ll have better shoulder, arm, and hand function and be less injury prone.

If you’ve been experiencing shoulder, arm, or hand pain, stop by our 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, Durango, CO office, call us at 970.259.6803, or click below to schedule a free initial consultation. You could be a gentle correction away from being pain-free!

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