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Tingling or Burning in the Arm and Hand can be Nerve Compression.

Tingling in specific fingers can be a sign of nerve compression

Nerve Compression is one of the human problems we specialize in diagnosing and treating at Blue Heron Chiropractic. Have you ever had a burning pain down your arm to your fingers? Tingling or Burning in the Hand and Arm can be Nerve Compression. We often see this with neck and shoulder injuries. Spinal nerve compressions are often real pain generators. The immediate issue is to determine the origin of the symptoms, prevent further injury, and begin healing.  Since Doctor Dana Sibilla is trained in chiropractic orthopedics as well as bodywork/massage and chiropractic physiotherapy, Blue Heron Chiropractic at 1934 NE Broadway in Portland is an ideal place to come and find out some answers and find a solution

Is spinal nerve compression common?

Nerve compression is actually not uncommon in more significant injuries of the spine, or with degenerative changes in the spine or with disc injuries.  Nerve compression can show up with Whiplash, after a car accident, for example, or after an injury carrying or dragging something heavy.  In the human body, structures compete for space. Nerve pathways, blood vessels, muscles and ligaments all have to fit into tightly contained areas. If boney deposits, swelling or torn muscle fibers compete for space in the compartments, nerve transmission and flows get slowed or blocked, signals get delayed, and pain and impairment can result. Occasionally, the patient will present with the arm held up over their head, which is “Bakody’s Sign”, which indicates they are relieving pressure on the nerves. This is a positive for Nerve Compression. Of course, nerves can become compressed in other areas of the body, such as the elbow, but that will be the subject of a different blog. Here, we are discussing nerve compression that essentially begins where the nerve roots exit the spinal cord in the neck.

Why does the doctor ask which fingers tingle?

Nerve compression pain is very specific and often radiates to specific fingers, toes, or regions of the body, often like a roadmap. This is different in comparison to Trigger Points, which we have discussed in a prior blog, which refer pain in a diffuse, “patchy” area.  In the clinic, we will compare your symptoms to a dermatomal chart that shows the area served by each nerve. The bottom line is that specific nerves radiate pain in predictable patterns. The tingling and pain sensation far down the arm comes from a pain signal jumping aboard the nerve running to and from that area as it goes by the compression. There are certain tests we can do in office to pinpoint the problem. Once identified, we can decide if further testing is required. The good news is that we have access to all of these modalities and options at Blue Heron Chiropractic. Likely more than half of what Doctor Sibilla does involves decompression. 

Does Nerve Compression go away?

Typically not on it’s own, not completely;  untreated, it will likely reoccur. Whether or not the compression goes away depends on the source and how significant a disc bulge or source of compression is present. Occasionally, swelling worsens compression and if the area can be stabilized, the swelling on a nerve will go down, some or all of the symptoms.

Is Chiropractic the right starting choice for nerve pain?

Since a major component of chiropractic has to do with the concept of alignment and reduction of compression, manipulative therapy and methods to ease swelling are very applicable. Often some of the exercises that you might think would be helpful for a problem are actually worsening or prolonging it by reactivating swelling. We will analyze your exercise program and make recommendations, including if you need to be referred out to a neurologist or neurosurgeon for a consultation. Remember, “Chiropractic” brings together all of the treatments some providers can do only one of – massage, physical therapy, electrical stim, micro-current,  cold laser, direct trigger point pressure, dietary and lifestyle modifications, myofascial release, imaging, and physician-level diagnosis. Schedule an appointment here.

How is Blue Heron handling the COVID-19 Pandemic at this time?

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed considerably in the US and in Portland, and a lot of that has to do with the increase of  immunity in the population, as well as variations in the virus. With the current Covid-19 variants posing perhaps less risk to certain individuals, the Pandemic is not entirely over yet, even though the health crisis is essentially ended. Doctor Sibilla and all staff you will encounter continue to be fully vaccinated with updated boosters.

Masking is now optional for patients. Staff will still currently be masking inside the clinic. Doctor Sibilla may continue to wear a mask for some time afterwards as the epidemiology continues to evolve. We may continue to temperature scan if a patient has flu-like symptoms, simply because it is so easy to do, and simply provides more information. If you would like a mask and don’t have one, we can provide you with one. We will continue to encourage patients with notable flu-like symptoms to contact us before coming in so we can coordinate all aspects to serve you better.  Access Chiropractic safely and securely at Blue Heron Chiropractic & Healing Arts Center, with Dr. Dana Sibilla, DC DABCO FIANM.

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