Sometimes numbness and pain in a hand and arm is due to an accident. The pain may have come on suddenly rather than gradually like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Repetitive Stress Injury. Regardless of the cause, pain and numbness in your hand and arm can respond to the same treatments because the same muscles are probably involved.
1. There is a muscle on each side of your neck that causes knots in the back and pain in the hand and arm. This is very often an overlooked cause of hand and pain symptoms. Especially if you have “knots” in your back between the spine and shoulder blade OR if you aren’t responding to typical medical treatment, this may be the cause of your pain.
2. If it’s hard to lift your arm, the deltoid, or cap, muscle on the outer side of your arm might be involved because that muscle can prevent the ability to lift if it’s unhappy.
3. I would suggest that ALL of the muscles around your upper body, ribs, chest, back, neck and arm are involved because they’re all attached.
Breathing thoughtfully as fully in and out as you can (while you are in the most comfortable position you can get into) will “massage” the muscles around the ribs, inside and out.
Either ice or heat around the back, side, shoulder and chest will help those muscles relax. Ice might probably be the treatment of choice around your neck.
Massage therapists who are trained to relieve pain by getting to the root cause of the pain can usually get relief for people with hand and arm symptoms. Manual medicine (massage) actually gets into the muscles to relieve tightness and trigger points. It’s not just ANY old tight muscle that should be massaged; it’s the muscles that are CAUSING the pain. There’s a BIG difference.
Physical therapy will work best when all of the muscles are treated (massaged by hand) and “released” manually first and the tissues are normalized.
Sometimes you can do a lot of massage yourself. Sometimes a friend or family member will help you or you might see a professional massage therapist. Tight muscles can be quite tender. You may say, “That really hurts!”
But, when your body says it is the right place and pressure you may say, “That really hurts; don’t stop; I can tell that’s a place that’s causing the problems.”
My expertise is in how the body works and how to get rid of pain. Because of my background, I am very, very biased about the value of massage. Very! I believe in my heart that this type of muscle and soft tissue treatment will give you the most relief and healing. (Because I have seen it over and over and over.)
by Kathryn Merrow