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Arm Pain

A lot of arm pain, numbness, and weakness can be due to a problem in your cervical spine. There are other issues like, tennis or golf elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome that can create similar symptoms. Our minimally invasive procedures are meant to help reach a diagnosis as well as eliminate the inflammation that is causing your pain.

Cervical Radiculopathy

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This page offers the answers to some of the most common questions related to pain occurring within the arm area, as well as the procedures used to diagnose and treat it effectively. Click on the questions to reveal the answers. Additional questions and answers about spine-related pain and our procedures are featured in the Ask the Doctors section.

Can the pain in my arm be related to problems in my arm?

Most definitely. Muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments ( tennis or golf elbow), circulation, and inflammation of the peripheral nerves ( i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome) may be a source of your arm pain.

If my arm pain is not caused by problems in my arm, what are other possible sources for the pain?

The most common other reason that you will have arm pain is due a problem in your cervical spine. If there is a herniated disc, or a pinched nerve in your neck you can experience arm pain. The cervical nerve in the neck becomes inflamed and then refers pain down the front or back of the arm, to the elbow or the forearm, and even down to the fingers. The crazy thing about this type of pain is that you may have no neck pain even though your arm or shoulder hurts!

What is “referred” pain?

“Referred” pain is pain that is felt somewhere other than the location where the problem or any injury has occurred. For instance, referred pain can be pain in the arm that actually is coming from the neck.

I had a normal EMG. Is it possible for my arm pain to come from my arm?

Yes. Despite a “normal” EMG, it is still possible to have irritated nerves in the arm that are causing pain in your arm. While an EMG/nerve conduction study is a good test, it is not as sensitive for finding the source of nerve pain as the procedures that we have developed for diagnosing arm pain from the arm.

My arm hurts when I sneeze or cough. What is causing this situation?

“Shooting” pain in the arm, which occurs when you sneeze or cough, may be a sign of a pinched nerve in the arm.

If my MRI is negative, is it still possible that I can have an irritated nerve in my arm that is causing the pain?

Yes. An MRI is an indirect image of the spine and does not always show everything. In addition, an MRI usually is taken while you are laying down. Nerves can shift when you change positions, especially if your pain is worse with when you stand or sit. The disk can leak part of its “jelly” center—or nucleus—around the nerves, which can cause significant chemical inflammation and pain. Our procedures can dramatically reduce the pain and inflammation resulting in increased circulation and healing.

  • Texas Orthopedic Hospital
  • Fondern orthopedic group LLP
  • Spine Interventional Society