What can I do about pain in my neck and shoulder radiating down the arm?

pain in neck and shoulder radiating down arm

At some point in your life, you’re bound to have neck or shoulder pain. A long day of hard work without much rest can lead to soreness or mild overexertion injuries. In circumstances like this, you usually just need a few days of rest and home treatment to recover. However, if you have long-lasting pain in your neck and shoulder radiating down the arm, you may need professional treatment.

Pain in the neck and shoulder radiating down the arm can occur for a few reasons. In many cases, though, it is caused by a condition known as cervical radiculopathy. Or, as you may call it, a “pinched nerve.”

What causes a pinched nerve?

Cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve root in your spine is subject to pressure from another condition or injury. It is commonly a result of a herniated disc, which is when the fluid from a disc in your spine escapes and puts pressure on the nearby nerve roots. When this happens in one of the discs in your neck, it can cause pain that spreads down the root into your shoulder and arm.

Besides pain, other symptoms of a pinched nerve in your neck may include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness in the muscles of your neck, shoulder and arm

Physical therapy for pain in the neck and shoulder radiating down the arm

Treatments for pain in the neck and shoulder caused by a pinched nerve vary depending on the needs of the individual. Factors like age, weight, medical history, the exact cause of the pain and its severity all play a role in your diagnosis and treatment. For many people, a treatment that can help is physical therapy.

Physical therapists specialize in a wide range of techniques that can help reduce pressure off the nerves in your spine. This is mainly achieved by improving the strength and flexibility of the surrounding muscles and soft tissue to help provide better support for the spine. Physical therapy treatments for neck and shoulder pain often include:

  • Gentle stretches and exercises
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Joint mobilization
  • Posture guidance
  • Patient education

Visit Whatcom Physical Therapy for neck and shoulder pain treatment

If neck pain is radiating down your shoulder and arm, you may have a condition that should be examined by a professional. Our team at Whatcom Physical Therapy can examine your neck, shoulder and arm to determine the cause of your injury and develop a course of treatment. With our help, you can reduce your pain and improve the use of your neck, shoulder and arm. Contact our team today about neck and shoulder pain or to schedule an initial appointment.