Neck pain or pins and needles in your hands?

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

We have all suffered with neck pain at one time or another with varying degrees of intensity and careful diagnosis is key to the correct treatment. There is a wide range of causes including joint wear and tear in the bones of the neck (the cervical spine), imbalance in the neck muscles and slightly less obvious problems in the shoulders, arms, upper back and even the pelvis.

The nerves that send information to and from our arms and hands exit the spinal chord through the small spaces between the bones of the cervical spine. From here, they pass via a tunnel of neck muscles before weaving their way around the bones and muscles of the shoulder and arm to the hands. If we were faced with this journey on Google Maps, we might all decide to stay at home! It is no wonder then, that there are several places along this hazardous journey where the nerves can be compressed giving rise to pins and needles, numbness and in severe cases, loss of power to one or more muscles.

But why would the nerves become compressed?

Lets start with trauma to the cervical spine itself from a head or neck injury or simply degenerative changes.

Next, the triangular ‘tunnel’ of muscles on each side of the neck – the ‘scalenes’. Do you read or use your computer with your head tilted for long periods of time?

What about the muscles in your forearm? This is a common area of ‘overuse’ compression for hairdressers (holding scissors), chefs (if you have stirred anything for some time, then you know what I mean), electricians (using a screwdriver) etc.

And of course.. the wrist and hands. With a large number of structures passing through the limited space in the wrist, additional occupational wrist pressure may lead to ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’. Regular cyclists occasionally also experience compression symptoms in their hands when weight bearing onto the handle bars.

So if you are suffering with neck pain or any of these conditions, why not call
Fenland Osteopaths and see how we can help you. (Ian Plested, Fenland Osteopaths)