Health blog

Neck, shoulder and arm pain and numbness in fingers — what do these symptoms mean?

October 3rd, 2019
Neck, Shoulder & Arm Pain

Some mild soreness in your shoulder and arm is normal after physical activities like lifting heavy objects. However, pain that lingers in your shoulder and arm may be related to a serious condition, especially if this pain stems from your neck and reaches into your fingers.

Pain in the neck, shoulder and arm can be related to a few different conditions, but it’s usually the result of a herniated disc in your neck.

What is a herniated disc in the neck?

A herniated disc in the neck (known as a cervical herniated disc) is a disc between the vertebrae in your spine that has burst. What this means is the fluid that’s usually contained in the shell of the disc has burst out of the shell. This uncontained fluid spreads around your spinal canal and puts pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord.

Pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord in your neck causes pain in the neck that stems into one of your shoulders and arms. This pain is often accompanied by a sensation of numbness or tingling that may spread all the way down to the tips of your fingers. It may even cause pain in your spinal cord that spreads into your head and causes headaches.

Treatment for a herniated disc in the neck

Herniated discs are usually not life-threatening, but they do cause a lot of pain and limit the use of your neck, shoulder and arm. In extreme cases, you may need surgery to repair the damaged disc, but most people are able to treat their herniated discs with physical therapy.

Physical therapists use a variety of techniques, including exercises, stretches and hands-on mobilizations to help reduce pain and stiffness caused by a herniated disc. These techniques are beneficial because they can effectively treat your condition while reducing your dependency on risky surgical procedures or expensive drugs that may cause side effects and addiction.

Visit Rehab Access for cervical herniated disc treatment

Are you experiencing pain in your neck, shoulder and arm that’s accompanied by numbness stemming into your fingers? You likely have a herniated disc in your neck. Our physical therapists at Rehab Access can examine your condition and develop a personalized treatment for you to help you recover. Contact our team today for more information about cervical herniated discs or to schedule an initial appointment.