Arm pain may be caused by a pinched nerve in the neck. Since the nerves travel through your neck to your arm, this is often the case. While normal treatments must be tried first, there are treatments that can make a difference and provide real pain relief.
When you have arm pain that is coupled with some other symptoms, especially if it comes on suddenly, it is important to consider the possibility of a heart attack. The other symptoms may include pressure in the chest that might spread to other areas. There may also be nausea, cold sweat, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Of course, if you have these symptoms, go to an emergency room immediately or call 911.
Causes of Neck Pain
There are many possible causes of neck pain that may prevent it from getting any better. One strong possibility is that you have a pinched nerve in your cervical spine (neck). This could be caused by such problems as spinal stenosis, arthritis, or herniated discs – all of which can put pressure on one or more nerves in your neck.
When a nerve becomes compressed, it becomes irritated. This will result in inflammation, and the swelling can increase the pain. Reversing the inflammation is the goal of treatment in this situation.
Injecting the Dye
When you go for treatment for pain relief for compressed nerves in your neck, the surgeon will conduct the treatment under a real-time x-ray – also called a fluoroscope. This enables the doctor to view the needle and the nerves, ensuring that the needle is safely guided to the right place.
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection
The first thing the doctor will do will be to give you an injection of anesthetic with a small needle. Using a larger needle, the doctor will carefully stick the needle into the epidural space, which is the tube that the nerve travels through to your arm.
Once the doctor believes the needle is in the right place, a small amount of a special dye will be injected first. This will provide further assurance of the right placement of the needle.
After this, the doctor will inject a mixture of a local anesthetic and of cortisone. The anesthetic will provide quick relief from the pain, and the cortisone will start working in a couple of days to reduce the inflammation.
Number of Injections
Most people will only need one injection for pain relief. The pain is often relieved very quickly due to the anesthetic in the injection. Others may require 2 or 3 injections in order to obtain significant relief. If needed, the injections will be given two or three weeks apart.
The duration will vary between people. In some cases, it may bring permanent relief. Other people may find that they get relief for several months. Reducing the swelling can enable the healing process to speed up, possibly providing a permanent solution to the pain.
If you have am pain that is constantly bothering you no matter what you do, we would like to help. At Lower Back Pain NY, we are Board-certified pain specialists who use interventional pain management methods to erase your pain. We have multiple offices in New York City.