Pinched nerve in the arm
Pinched nerve in the arm and other parts of the body causes severe pain. It prevents a individual from performing normal every day activities. A pinched nerve occurs when the surrounding tissues such as the cartilage, tendons, bones or the muscles are pressed abnormally against a nerve. Poor nutrition and general health can cause worsening of a pinched nerve.
- There is numbness and diminished sensation in the area supplied by the nerve.
- A feeling that a hand or foot has “fallen asleep”.
- Tingling sensation such as “pins or needles” which can be felt from the shoulder to the wrist and sometimes spread to 1-2 fingers. In most circumstances, it is the thumb or the pointing finger that can be affected by these sensations which is also called parenthesis.
- There is twitching or weakness of the muscles.
- Tenderness of the affected area.
- A pinched nerve in the arm is caused by an overuse, overstretching, compression and constriction. When the nerves and tissues in the arms endure significant pressure, it becomes inflamed and is no longer capable to functioning normally. The affected tissues include the bone cartilage, muscles or tendons due to a pinched nerve.
- Sometimes, being overweight or obesity can also lead to a pinched nerve in the arm. It can also be caused by performing repetitive activities and injuries on the arm.
- Placing the arm in an awkward position can cause a pinched nerve in the arm.
- Encourage the individual to rest, especially the affected arm. Avoid performing physical activities that can make the condition worse.
- Wear a splint frequently to keep the affected arm stable and minimize unnecessary movement that can make the condition worse.
- Seek the help of the physical therapist for some exercises for strengthening and stretching to help minimize pressure from the pinched nerve. Avoid performing exercises are not properly executed to prevent making the condition worse.
- Apply an ice pack and heating pad on the affected area. Apply the cold compress on the area for at least 15 minutes at 3-4 times every day to lessen the inflammation. Avoid applying the ice pack directly on the skin to prevent frostbite from developing. A warm compress can be applied to the area for at least an hour for 4-5 nights every week until symptoms are minimized. In addition, heat also promotes increased blood circulation in the area.
- Encourage the individual to take a warm bath or immerse the affected area in hot water to relax the affected muscles and promote proper circulation of blood in the area.
- Avoid inactivity. Resting is needed but long periods of inactivity can also make the condition worse. Perform some aerobic exercises or simply take a walk for at least 30 minutes every day. Performing regular exercises helps increase the flow of blood in the area and promote rapid healing of the condition.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin to lessen the pain and swelling.