What Is This Feeling: Mysterious Arm Pain

Mar 24, 2017

It’s something I see time and time again in the physical therapy industry; patients experience arm pain without knowing if or why something is wrong. This pain can range from pain in the upper arm, elbow, hand, or worse, pain throughout the entire extremity. But before you pull your hair out trying to figure out how to treat your arm, we need to look at the neck!
Simple actions from how you turn your head to how you hold your cell phone require little to no thought on our end. However, when poor movement patterns are used to perform these actions it forces the movement from a small location rather than normal movement from a larger region.  This commonly results in abnormal wear and tear on joints in the neck, upper back, and shoulders. While this problem doesn’t occur overnight, repetition of these movements often catches up with us.
Arm pain can present itself in a myriad of ways, all slightly different. As a patient, however, your main concern often won’t be with diagnostics, but rather one of these two questions:
1. How can I prevent this from occurring?
Posture, posture, posture! Most activities we do are front facing. We tend to lean our head and trunk forwards, and do activities for far too long in these positions. Take computer work, for example. Over time, we eventually look and lean closer and closer as we surf the internet, work, or play games. We continually promote poor posture versus simply correcting it.
Simple neck and chest stretches, as well as postural strengthening can help correct sustained poor posture. This not only helps with how you hold yourself but also improves how your neck, back, and arms all function, decreasing likelihood of pain and dysfunction.
2. What can be done to get this pain out of my arm?
Physical therapists at Foothills Sports Medicine see this kind of pain very frequently and know proven techniques to reduce it. We focus on making sure your neck, back, and body move correctly, and that the solutions are crafted specifically for you.
If you feel this is a potential issue, set up a free consultation for pain management at your nearest Foothills location. Our dedicated hands-on staff is here to help you get to the bottom of your pain and discomfort.

Jordan Brocker

by Jordan Brocker
DPT | CSSS North Central Phoenix Location

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