Arm Pain

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can the pain in my arm be related to problems in my neck?

Most definitely. Nerves in the neck can become irritated and produce pain in your arm without causing any direct pain in your neck.

2. If my arm pain isn’t caused by problems in my neck, what are other possible sources for the pain?

Muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, circulation and injury to the peripheral nerves (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy or RSD) may also be the source of
pain in your arm.

3. What is “referred” pain?

“Referred” pain is pain that is felt somewhere other than the location where the problem or any injury has occurred. For instance, referred pain can be pain in the arm that actually is coming from the neck.

4. I had a normal EMG. Is it possible for my arm pain to come from my neck?

Yes. Despite a “normal” EMG, it is still possible to have irritated nerves in the neck that are causing pain in your arm. While an EMG/nerve conduction study is a good test, it is not as sensitive for finding the source of nerve pain as the procedures that we have developed for diagnosing arm pain from the neck.

5. My arm hurts when I sneeze or cough. What is causing this situation?

“Shooting” pain in the arm, which occurs when you sneeze or cough, may be a sign of a pinched nerve in the neck.

6. If my MRI is negative, is it still possible that I can have an irritated nerve in my neck that is causing the pain?

Yes. An MRI is an indirect image of the spine and does not always show everything. In addition, an MRI usually is taken while you are laying down. Nerves can shift when you change positions, especially if your pain is worse with when you stand or sit. The disk can leak part of its “jelly” center—or nucleus—around the nerves, which can cause significant chemical inflammation and pain. Our procedures can dramatically reduce the pain and inflammation resulting in increased circulation and healing.

Additional questions and answers about spine-related pain and our procedures are featured in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section.