Back Problems - Shoulder, Arm and Hand Problems
Your brain "talks" with the rest of your body through a vast communications system mostly made up of nerves. Some nerves exit from your neck to go to your throat, thyroid, voice box (larynx), trachea, heart and arteries. Some nerves go straight to their destination and others first from nerve networks called a plexus. You have a number of these nerve plexuses in your body: the cervical plexus on each side of your neck; your brachial plexus near your shoulders. Most musculoskeleta- related shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist and hand symptoms originate from the neck area and pass through either the cervical, or brachial plexus.
*Cox, James M. Neck, Upper Back,Shoulder & Arm Pain; pp 1-6, 1992.
Brachial Plexus Injury
* Jackson, R. The cervical syndrome (4th ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles E. Thomas, 1977, pp. 183-187.
What causes the nerves to get impinged or "pinched"? Many things: long-standing spinal stress injury, common in certain careers (repetitive stress postures) such as hair stylists, dentists, old injuries, untreated from childhood, new injuries from sports mishaps (especially racquet sports), car accidents (especially whiplash type), arthritis, sleeping in an awkward position (too high of a pillow) and even chronic emotional stress creating excessive muscular tension and restriction of joint motion.
Results of Brachial Plexus Injury
* Hult, L. Frequency of symptoms for different age groups and professions. In C. Hirsch & Y. Zotterman (Eds.), Cervical pain. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1971, pp. 5-16.
Due to the complicated way nerves interrelate, conditions such as repetitive tension headache, migraine, limited or painful motion of the head and neck, have been reported as being caused by brachial plexus damage. Chiropractic care is essential for anyone with shoulder, arm, elbow and hand problems to relieve nerve stress and permit the spine, as well as the rest of the body, to function more normally.**
** Leach, R. "Theories of subluxation pathophysiology 58a". in The chiropractic theories: A synopsis of scientific research. Baltimore; Williams and Wilkins, 1986, p. 86.