Cervical Radiculopathy (Trapped Nerve)
A trapped nerve is the most common cause of arm pain. It can become trapped from a disc bulge, wear and tear or tight muscles in the neck.
Symptoms: The pain can vary from mild to severe and can radiate either all the way down the arm or just into the upper arm. The pain can be made worse by looking up and is usually worse at night.
Treatment: Conservative treatment can really help relieve symptoms, such as ice therapy, mobilisation, acupuncture, massage and nerve flossing.
Prognosis: It can take between 3-12 weeks to see improvement with some patients taking longer. It all depends how bad the initial injury was.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Poor posture is becoming an increasing problem as we spend more and more time on our phones and at our computers. This poor posture can cause the muscles in the front of your neck, known as the scalenes, to become tight and compress on the nerves and arteries that supply your arms.
Symptoms: Pins and needles and numbness are normally felt in the arm when sleeping or sitting for a prolonged period. Symptoms should ease with movement.
Treatment: Manipulation, massage and stretches can usually resolve the issue but exercises are essential to correct posture otherwise the symptoms are likely to reoccur.
Prognosis: Most patients will take somewhere between 1-5 weeks to improve.