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What causes neck pain along with tingling sensation and numbness in the arm?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10686 Questions
I have a sharp pain on the right side of my neck (back of neck), which goes down my upper right should and to my right underarm. My entire right arm is numb and tingly.
Fri, 27 Apr 2018 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 44 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
Pain neck with tingling and numbness in the arm is suggestive of a nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level due to degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine. Past neck injury may also contribute to the degeneration.

X-ray of neck in lateral view or MRI will help in the diagnosis.

Treatment includes
1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief.
2. Medical drugs like pain killers - acetaminophen/ibuprofen and muscle relaxants might be helpful.
3. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms.
4. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist.
5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
6. You can avoid using a pillow.

As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail stronger prescription medications (if over the counter medications are not helpful).
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes neck pain along with tingling sensation and numbness in the arm? 7 hours later
A couple friends of mine are suggesting I try deep tissue massage, but in my mind, that would not help my condition. A bit of history...I was in a car accident in 1985 when I was rear-ended on the freeway. I suffered a severe whiplash and went through 9 months of physical therapy and orthopedic visits. To me, deep tissue massage would be beneficial for a soft tissue injury, but if what I am experiencing is nerve root compression, I don't believe deep tissue massage would do anything to correct/fix the root cause. Do you agree?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing again.
Yours is more likely to be a nerve compression. Cervical isometric exercises will help in addition to oral muscle relaxants to relieve the pain.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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