Do you ever experience burning, numbness, or a tingling sensation down your arm after experiencing trauma or an insidious onset?

This can be a sign of nerves becoming entrapped due to impingement in the spinal column (radiculopathy) or along specific soft tissues lying along the pathway of the nerves to their specific destination. The impingements in the spinal column can come from disc pathologies such as bulges, protrusions, or annual tears leading to herniations. The other common pathology is abnormal, multi-directional bony formation which is defined as osteoarthritis.

*Notice the arrows pointing to osteophyte formation impeding on the foramen (opening) for the exiting spinal nerves

Outside the spinal column, soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) and hard tissue (bone) form specific pathways throughout the body so the nerves can reach their destination. Often, the soft tissue structures can also cause impingement which can mimic the effects of impingement occurring in the spinal column. Healthcare providers do not always address these possible causes for radiating pain due to the anatomical complexity of these pathways.

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As for patients reading this, finding the right healthcare provider to examine and properly diagnose what exactly is causing the problem is the first step to the path of recovery. Here at Alaska Back Care Center, we can put you on that path.