Ask the Doctor: Neck & Arm Pain
Many things can contribute to neck and arm pain. ROC Spine Surgeon, Dr. Ben Bjerke talks about some causes and treatment in our Ask the Doctor segment.
Do you have arm pain? It could be related to issues with your spine. According to Mayo Clinic, Fellowship-trained Spine Surgeon, Dr. Ben Bjerke, as the discs of the spine wear out, bone spurs can develop around the spinal column. The Reno Orthopaedic Center Spine Surgeon says when degenerative disc disease or arthritis develops in the spine, the joints become larger with bone spurs – which can press on the spinal cord or on the nerves that travel out of the spine and into the arms. Symptoms may include neck pain. Dr. Bjerke says this issue can also make nerve problems in the arms worse. He adds, “It is also important to try and locate where the pain travels into the arm. For example, pain that travels into the shoulder area is different from pain in the thumb, and different from pain in the ring and small fingers.” Along with a physical examination, x-rays, MRI and CT scans may help diagnoses the problem.
Dr. Bjerke encourages patients to see a spine surgeon if other forms of treatment – such as medications, injections, physical therapy or chiropractic care – do not work after six weeks. For patients who do not improve with nonsurgical methods, an operation may be recommended.
To learn more about the surgical treatment Dr. Bjerke performs, you can read his recently-published article: https://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/surgery/cervical-disc-replacement-neck-or-arm-pain
To can also reach Dr. Bjerke through his website: http://www.bjerkespine.com/