Hand Pain? Check the Neck!

It’s quite logical to assume that if a person is experiencing hand or wrist pain, then the problem must be in the hand/wrist… and with scores of different specialties within modern Medicine, it’s tempting for patients to view their health problems in a compartmentalized manner, and thus seek out a “hand specialist.”

But what if the cause of your hand pain wasn’t really in your hand at all?

I’ve noticed a recurring theme in patients who’ve come to me suffering with arm/hand/wrist pain… They often have an upper neck misalignment. This structural imbalance can be responsible for irritation of the brachial plexus, a delicate bundle of nerves that begins in the neck and travels down the length of the arm, innervating the muscles and skin of the upper limbs.

When pain is localized exclusively within the joints of the hand, and the patient is over 55 years old, arthritis is a likely culprit. But when swelling, weakness, and temperature changes coexist in their health history, I begin to suspect something more.

In conjunction with their hand pain, I’ve found that these patients also have a history of neck stiffness, tightness across the shoulders, numbness/tingling/weakness of the arms or hands, cold hands, or swelling of the fingers (evidenced by difficulty removing rings).

Fortunately, hand pain can’t directly effect the neck. Neck pain, however, can most certainly effect your hands; it’s just less conspicuous than hand pain. A lot of people assume it’s “normal” to have neck pain. They attribute it to stress, and since stress is pretty much inescapable, neck pain must therefore be par for the course. The truth is, neither hand pain nor neck pain are ever normal.

Structural imbalance between the head and neck may very well be causing your hand pain. It’s important to identify the exact cause if you want to achieve lasting relief. If you’ve been relying on over-the-counter pain relievers to temporarily manage the pain, Upper Cervical Care may offer a more permanent answer for you.

If you need assistance finding an Upper Cervical Chiropractor near you, feel free to email me.


Great article! I see this everyday in my practice and once you educate people on how the neck affects their arms and hands they understand why they are experiencing symptoms such as numbness, tingling, radiating pain, weakness, etc on their limbs.

Amazing how the spine is a major contributor to peripheral symptoms, hence, why chiropractors work on correcting it.

Mark Josefsberg Wednesday at 00:36

Thanks for the article. This is what happened to me. After hunching over my instrument with poor posture for many years, I initially had intense hand pain, and eventually neck pain.

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