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August 10, 2005

Problems In The Arms

Yesterday was arm day. What I mean by that is that several clients came to me with problems involving pain in their arms or wrists or hands. Numbness, tingling, referred pain, reduced range of motion, a general sense of heaviness, or the inability to carry out normal activities are typical arm problems I see in my practice.

Treatment of such requires good communication, an examination through palpation to discern the source of the problem, and attention to detail. You don't want to leave out anything or you may have missed a part of the puzzle and the results of your work will be less than impressive, so you'll want to schedule an hour.

If someone has numbness in the night just by laying the arm on the bed, I examine what is happening in the neck, chest, and scapular sling muscles. If there is numbness in the two outter fingers of the hand, don't forget to check the serratus anterior and tricep muscles.

Numbness in the the thumb, pointer and middle finger indicate a problem with same nerve and will probably present with tightness in the coracobrachialis muscle.

Stretching, heat and/or ice are crucial not only for office treatment, but for home as well. I like to demonstrate stretches for the upper extremities using a door jamb to stretch arm and chest muscles. A little side-bending of the neck should be thrown in for good measure.

Posted by linda at August 10, 2005 10:30 AM

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