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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5411
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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Think i have a pinched nerve in my arm. how do i tell its a

Resolved Question:

think i have a pinched nerve in my arm. how do i tell its a nerve
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 5 years ago.

Hi, this is Dr Sathya. Thanks for your question and I am very glad to help you.

If you are having symptoms in the arm then the following types of nerve injuries are possible;

1) Pinched Spinal Nerves in the neck

2) CTS/Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (median nerve pinching in the wrist area)

3) Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (ulnar nerve pinching in the elbow area)

4) Guyon's canal syndrome (ulnar nerve pinching in the wrist area)

5) Radian nerve pinching at various points along its route in the arm or forearm etc

The #1 possibility (pinched spinal nerve) is high if there is neck pain too, if neck pain is absent then this possibility is less, but not impossible because some patients develop pinched spinal nerve without any or much neck pain.

With the other conditions mentioned above the neck pain is generally absent, rather the symptoms are just confined to the arm or hand or both depending upon the exact condition.

You need a test by name EMG/Nerve conduction study (a nerve & muscle test) of the arm & the neck area and this test will tell us whether you have any of the above pinched nerve conditions like - pinched spinal nerve, CTS, Cubital tunnel syndrome, Guyon's canal syndrome, Radial nerve injury (mainly the sensory branch of this nerve) or a combination of some these (some patients may have such combinations) etc.

If neck pain & pinched spinal nerves are present then you will require an MRI of the cervical spine too (spine in the neck area) to look for what is causing the pinched spinal nerve like arthritis, disc problem etc.

Once a final diagnosis is made then appropriate treatment will be started, initially with conservative (non-surgical) treatments like pain meds (you tried but in vain), laser therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, splints (if CTS etc are present), steroid shots etc. If conservative measures are not enough then surgical interventions may also be necessary.

You may please discuss all these above points with your clinic-Drs, preferably with a neurologist for the further needful (investigations & treatments as discussed above).

Please ask me if there are any further questions.

Thanks for the waiting!

All the best!

Best regards,

Dr Sathya.

If you have any additional questions, concerns or clarifications then please let me know. And if you are satisfied with my answer please accept it so that I will be credited for my expertise, time and effort put in preparing this answer.

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