Every has radiating symptoms down the arm or into the fingers? Experience numbness, tingling, or “lightning like” zinging down your arm? These symptoms can be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition in the hands that is common with people who work at computers or perform repetitive motion tasks for extended periods of time.
Problems in the neck can lead to this radiating pain. Other conditions associated with the neck can include: headaches, muscle spasms in the shoulders and upper back, ringing in the ears, otitis media (inflammation in the middle ear, often mistaken for ear infection in children), restricted range of motion, and chronic tightness in the neck and upper back.
The Causes of Radiating Pain:
Most radiating pain symptoms can be caused by a combination of factors, including physical, emotional, and chemical stressors to the body. Most people do not realize how much they move their neck during the day until they are unable to do so. Did you know your neck supports and moves your head which can weigh as much as 14-16 lbs? You can picture your neck and head much like a bowling ball being held on top of a stick by small, thin, elastic bands. Altering the position of the ball on the stick and quickly disrupt the balance and add pressure and stress to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves that work in and around your head and neck.
The spinal cord runs through a space in the vertebrae to send nerve impulses to every part of the body. Between each pair of cervical vertebrae, the spinal cord sends off large bundles of nerves that run down the arms and to some degree, the upper back. This is why many times the numbness, tingling, cold, aching, “pins and needles” symptoms you experience end up being an issue stemming from the neck.
It’s very common for people who become stressed, to unconsciously contract their muscles. In particular, the muscles in their back. This ‘ muscle guarding’ is a survival response designed to guard against injury. In today’s world where we are not only exposed to physical stressors but emotional stressors as well. This added stress can affect the muscles, and nerve flow in the neck, upper, and lower back.
A few effective ways to reduce physical tension (stress) are to increase your physical activity level – exercise –, to begin incorporating time to take some deep breaths, and of course beginning chiropractic care.
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