The function of the arm is to allow for movement of the wrist and hand. Various muscles initiate the arm’s actions, large muscles flex and extend, pronate and supinate, and the more sensitive muscles allow fine motor control. Lifting capacity and grip strength come from the arm muscles, making them essential for all types of activities. Because of the many functions and jobs the hands and arms do, added stress is placed on them. Arm discomfort symptoms, radiating pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling are common conditions. Chiropractic care can relieve injury symptoms and restore mobility and function.
Table of Contents
Arm Discomfort Symptoms
The muscles of the upper arm, the biceps, and the triceps, control the movement and positioning of the elbow joint, and the muscles of the forearm control the wrist and hand. There are 30 bones from the top of the arm to the tip of the finger that include:
- The humerus in the upper arm.
- Ulna and radius in the forearm.
- Carpal bones in the wrist.
- Metacarpals and phalanges make up the hand and fingers.
- The joints allow movement between the bones and are stabilized by ligaments and joint capsules.
Discomfort or Radiation
Symptoms vary based on the severity of the injury but commonly include.
- Arm range of motion decreased.
- Edema during activity.
- Muscle weakness.
- Numbness and tingling in the elbow, forearm, or hand can develop.
- Pain sensations often radiate to other areas.
Individuals that work with their hands related to work, home tasks, sports, or hobby activities, such as construction workers, hair stylists, store cashiers, graphic artists, automotive technicians, carpenters, painters, butchers, and more, have an increased risk of injury and developing chronic conditions. Work that involves manually cutting, writing, typing, gripping, operating motorized tools, hair clippers, working with animals, etc., makes the arms susceptible to injury from the constant stress on the ligaments. Common overuse injuries affecting the upper extremity include:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- These conditions involve the nerves of the forearm.
- Prolonged or repetitive bending or flexing of the wrist or elbow can generate swelling pressure that compresses the nerve/s.
- Symptoms include numbness, coldness, tingling, and/or weakness in the hand and fingers.
Tennis, Golfer, and Pitcher Elbow
- These conditions involve the inflammation of the tendon structures surrounding the elbow joint.
- Repeating the same motion over and over causes damage.
- This leads to tenderness and pain inside and surrounding the elbow.
De Quervain’s Tendinosis
- Tendinosis refers to inflammation of the tendons.
- De Quervain’s syndrome affects tendon structure in the wrist.
- Swelling near the base of the thumb.
- Individuals have difficulty grasping objects.
- This is common for landscapers, gardeners, and sports where constant gripping is involved.
- Tendons attach muscles and bones
- The condition causes tendon inflammation, presenting pain in the area around single or multiple joints.
- Common types include wrist tendonitis, pitcher’s shoulder, and swimmer’s shoulder.
- Overuse and frequent stress from continuous motion can wear tendons to the point of partial or complete tearing.
- Rotator cuff tears in the shoulder are often caused by overuse wearing down.
Chiropractic and massage therapy can rehabilitate arm injuries, restore function and reduce arm discomfort symptoms. Treatment includes:
- Ice or heat treatment.
- Manual therapy – soft tissue massage and trigger point alleviation.
- Joint mobilization.
- Taping or bracing support.
- Rehabilitation targeted exercises.
- Work and sports modification training.
- Training on upper extremity overuse, practicing caution, and knowing when to seek professional medical help.
Shoulder Pain Rehabilitation
Bass, Evelyn. “Tendinopathy: why the difference between tendinitis and tendinosis matters.” International Journal of therapeutic massage & Bodywork vol. 5,1 (2012): 14-7. doi:10.3822/ijtmb.v5i1.153
Cutts, S et al. “Tennis elbow: A clinical review article.” Journal of Orthopaedics vol. 17 203-207. 10 Aug. 2019, doi:10.1016/j.jor.2019.08.005
Hoe, Victor C W, et al. “Ergonomic design and training for preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb and neck in adults.” The Cochrane Database of systematic reviews vol. 2012,8 CD008570. 15 Aug. 2012, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008570.pub2
Konijnenberg, H S et al. “Conservative treatment for repetitive strain injury.” Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health vol. 27,5 (2001): 299-310. doi:10.5271/sjweh.618
Luger, Tessy, et al. “Work-break schedules for preventing musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders in healthy workers.” The Cochrane Database of systematic reviews vol. 7,7 CD012886. 23 Jul. 2019, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012886.pub2
Pitzer, Michael E et al. “Elbow tendinopathy.” The Medical Clinics of North America vol. 98,4 (2014): 833-49, xiii. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2014.04.002
Verhagen, Arianne P et al. “Conservative interventions for treating work-related complaints of the arm, neck or shoulder in adults.” The Cochrane Database of systematic reviews vol. 2013,12 CD008742. 12 Dec. 2013, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008742.pub2
Zaremski, Jason L et al. “Sport Specialization and Overuse Injuries in Adolescent Throwing Athletes: A Narrative Review.” Journal of athletic training vol. 54,10 (2019): 1030-1039. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-333-18
The information herein on "Arm Discomfort Symptoms: EP Chiropractic Scientists" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card