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What is causing your arm to hurt? Your neck???

Arm pain can have a variety of reasons and origins. Neck pain and radiculopathy are common conditions that can greatly affect a person's quality of life. Radiculopathy is a condition in which there is irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the spine, leading to pain, numbness, and/or weakness in the affected area. Physical therapy can be a highly effective treatment option for neck pain and radiculopathy, helping to reduce pain and improve function assuming it is being identified correctly.

There are several different types of physical therapy techniques that may be used to treat neck pain and radiculopathy. These include:

  1. Manual Therapy: This involves hands-on techniques such as mechanical evaluation, mobilization, and manipulation to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and restore function.

  2. Exercise Therapy: Specific exercises thgat are partiucular to the indivudiual and not part of a cookie cutter program, are prescribed to target the affected area, improve strength, flexibility, and endurance, and help to reduce pain.

  3. Modalities: These are various physical agents such as heat, cold, and Laser or Red Light Therapy,  that can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle spasm.

  4. Posture and Ergonomic Training: Proper posture and ergonomics can help to reduce stress on the neck and spine, and prevent further injury or pain.

  5. Education: Patients are educated on proper body mechanics and posture, including lifting techniques, bending, and sitting postures, to prevent further injury and pain.

Physical therapy is a highly personalized treatment, and the specific techniques used will depend on the individual needs of the patient. A physical therapist will assess the patient's condition and develop a personalized treatment plan to address their specific needs.

In addition to physical therapy, there are several other steps that patients can take to manage their neck pain and radiculopathy. These include:

  1. Proper evaluation of diet and nutrition that may be contributing to a chronic inflammatory issue

  2. Rest: Resting the affected area can help to reduce pain and promote healing. However, too much rest can lead to stiffness and loss of function, so it is important to balance rest with exercise and movement.

  3. Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate neck pain and radiculopathy, so stress management techniques such as meditation, prayer, deep breathing, and relaxation exercises can be helpful.

  4. Lifestyle Modifications: Making modifications to lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep can also help to reduce pain and improve overall health.

In conclusion, physical therapy is a highly effective treatment option for neck pain and radiculopathy. The research shows that 25% of shoulder, 20% of elbow discomfort and 15-20% of hand and wrist pain is actually caused by the cervical spine or neck. Geting a proper mechanical evaluation to determine whether your issue is coming from the neck or locally in the arm itself is critical to getting better. If your pain is caused because of an underlying neck issue and your are having your arm treated because that is where the pain is, you probably won't get better. Call Sampsell PT to make sure your are tresating the root of the problem and not just the symptom!