Numbness, tingling, and pain shooting down the arm are some of the more common reasons for people to go to a chiropractor.
Anyone who has experienced the aforementioned symptoms knows what a challenge it is to do even menial tasks around the house.
Lifting a toothbrush up to your mouth becomes agonizing when that sharp pain shoots down your shoulder and arm all the way to your fingertips.
…raising your arm up to put the dishes away in the cabinet or simply lifting a mug of coffee up to your lips is next to impossible because of the weakness in your arm and hand.
…the inability to feel the sensation of touch or the persistent tingling in your shoulder, elbow, and wrist makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
So, how and why does the numbness, tingling, and pain down the arm begin?
First, a spinal misalignment, also known as a vertebral subluxation.
The vertebral subluxation, or subluxation for short, is a shift in one of the top two vertebrae of the spine, C1 and C2. A misalignment of one of these two bones will result in stress, tension, or pressure on any number of nerves. With nearly every nerve in the body passing through the C1 vertebra, a misalignment here will cause some sort of issue somewhere in your body.
Because of a vertebral subluxation, a domino effect of misalignments will arise from the C2 vertebra down (if C2 is the major subluxation, then misalignments down the spine will begin at C3).
When the vertebrae in the lower cervical spine (or lower part of the neck) become misaligned, those specific misalignments will cause stress, tension, and/or pressure to the nerves exiting the spinal column at those levels. The significance of this is that these nerves specifically innervate your shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers.
Enter numbness, tingling, and even pain down your shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers.
Annoying, irritating, and maybe even painful, right?
Secondly, if the vertebral subluxation has been removed, and numbness, tingling, and pain are persisting down one arm, it might be a misaligned first rib.
This may seem a little strange, but the C-shaped first rib attaches at your T1 vertebra and around to the sternum, just below where the clavicle attaches to the sternum.
In the midst of muscles, arteries, and veins passing down between the clavicle and first rib is a network of nerves called the brachial plexus. These are the same aforementioned nerves that exit the base of your neck and travel down your shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers. When the first rib misaligns, it misaligns up at an angle, pressing up against the brachial plexus.
Once again, enter numbness, tingling, and even pain down your shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers when this happens.
So, what is the answer?
Unless it is an extreme circumstance, I have always found chiropractic to be an answer to this specific condition. Specifically removing a vertebral subluxation from the spine and/or correcting the misaligned first rib can be big keys to restoring proper alignment to your spine.
When there is proper alignment throughout the entire body, nervous system communication flows freely back and forth between the brain and the body. With proper nervous system communication, your body’s innate intelligence will begin healing itself from all of those annoying, irritating, and painful symptoms.