Bilateral Arm Tingling: The Upper Thoracic Component

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February 7, 2015

We see a tremendous amount of patients who have upper extremity tingling, pain or numbness. Most often, this stems from a cervical root impingment from disc related injury, hypertonicity or spasming of muscles in the scapular(shoulder blade)/rotator cuff region with associated costovertebral (rib/spine articulation) joint fixation. These are all treatable issues, but what if the symptoms are bilateral? 

We have seen numerous cases where individuals have bilateral arm numbness, and most commonly the issue is due to an upper thoracic fixation, or imbrication of facet joints, where the lower cervical and upper thoracic regions articulate, or conjoin, causing bilateral tautness and inflammation of muscles. This forces the shoulders to internally rotate and forces an impingment of the neurovascular bundle as it traverses the upper thoracic/shoulder complex into the arms. 

After ruling out cervical stenosis, syrinx, tumors and other pathological processes that could create this issue we are left with a functional issue, which is easily treatable with specific Chiropractic Neurological therapy to the facet joints of the upper thoracic and lower cervical regions, along with costovertebral and shoulder joint release, along with active release of the muscle groups mainly affected. Cervical decompression therapy is also very helpful, as is cold lasery therapy, muscle stimulation, specialized stretching, strengthening, graston therapy and many other modalities that we may utilize to rehabilitate the injured region. A combination of acute and chronic causes comprise the origin of bilateral tingling. We are able to offer these services at Portland Chiropractic Neurology, the only Chiropractic Neurology practice in Maine, located in Portland at 959 congress st.