Shoulder, Arm & Hand Problems
Neuritis, bursitis, neuralgia, rheumatism, frozen shoulder, fibrositis, sprains, strains or "poor circulation" are some of the terms used to describe neck, shoulder and arm conditions. Anyone who is experiencing any form of problem involving their shoulders, arms or hands is in danger of being severely limited when it comes to writing, driving, using the computer, doing many household duties and even sleeping.
What controls your shoulders arms and hands? The brain does. The brain has the ability to "talk" to the rest of your body through a vast communication system made up of nerves. Billions of nerves extend from your brain down your spinal cord and outward toward every other part of your body. Some nerves go straight to their point of destination but some first mix with other nerves to form a complicated nerve network called a nerve "plexus".
The brachial plexus is one such nerve bundle that comes out of the middle neck, the lower neck and the upper back. After they form the brachial plexus, they branch off to supply different areas such as the shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers.
People sometimes blame their joint or organ problems on "old age" even though they have many other joints and organs that are just as old and yet have no problems. What is much more common is that their nerves leading to these body parts are irritated. The nerves that make up the brachial plexus may be irritated as they exit the spinal column. This may occur when the spinal bones in the neck and upper back are misaligned and start to damage the very nerves they are supposed to protect. What causes the spinal bones to misalign? Nearly any injury or trauma could do it. Old injuries such as falls from childhood, sports mishaps, car accidents (especially whiplash), sleeping in an awkward position and even birth stress could all be reasons that bones misalign.
Depending on which brachial plexus nerves are being affected, different symptoms may be experienced. There may be muscle weakness, neck pain/stiffness, radiating pain with head or arm movement, a sensation of pins and needles or even complete numbness somewhere down the arm. Because of the complicated way that nerves interrelate, headaches, facial pain, dizziness, nasal problems, throat conditions and even epilepsy have been reported as being caused by neck or brachial plexus irritation.
Although chiropractic's success with shoulder, arm, wrist and hand problems is well documented, chiropractic is really no a treatment for those problems. The chiropractic approach to shoulder and hand problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, brachial plexus injury or any health problem is to analyze your spine to locate and correct a serious nerve-damaging spinal condition called the vertebral subluxation complex. This vertebral subluxation complex is a misalignment of your spinal bones that puts stress on your nerves, bones, ligaments, discs, tendons, muscles, tissues and internal organs. Your doctor of chiropractic is specially trained to locate and correct vertebral subluxations and once adjustments are made to correct these subluxations, pressure will be released and the healthy flow of nerve impulses will be restored. Pain and other symptoms often disappear entirely.
By having your spine checked on a periodic basis, many of the problems caused by an unhealthy spinal column can be corrected and even prevented before they become serious.