Can Neck Pain Affect Your Arms?

Posted by N Gil on

YES, nerves in the neck innervate the shoulders, upper back, arms hands and fingers. There is a sensory, reflex and motor component to this, so there can be all kinds of symptoms.

Neck Pain Can affect your arms, shoulders and hands and fingers

Many people of have experienced a pinched nerve before. A pinched nerve, or a cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve that starts in the neck area) happens when nerves get damaged or changed in the way that they function. 

There are 7 bones in your neck spine, and and begin at the base of your skull. 

These nerves have very important jobs to do. They run through your cervical spine send messages back forth between your brain and your musculature The roots of these nerves branch out through openings in your vertebrae called foramen.

When there is a "pinch" or damage to these nerve roots, pain and stiffness can result. Loss of sensation, burning, "pins and needles", numbness and tingling can occur. Loss of function can happen as well. It all depends the level of nerve root that is affected. 

So for example, lets say you have a bulging disc between the bones in your neck at C5 and C6. The nerve root at C6 would be affected. Symptoms of this may look like this: Pain in the neck, arms ( the bicep muscle and wrist extensors would be affected), hands or shoulders pins & needles or numbness in the neck, arms, hands, or shoulders. Muscle spasms or weakness can occur in the bicep, wrist extensors. Discomfort and pain in the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger can result. 

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