Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Burning pain in the upper back radiated to the arm

Burning pain in the upper back radiated to the arm

Patient: I have a burning in my shoulder blades and my spine all the time. It at times travels to my right arm. I have to wear flextor patches just to tolerate the pain.

 

 

Doctor: The pain in your spine and shoulder as you described it might be due to a cervical nerve compression, but it would be i important to rule out also an inflammation of the peripheral nerves at the level of the arm and hand. In the younger patients, cervical radiculopathy may be a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing impingement of a nerve. In the older patient, cervical radiculopathy is often a result of spinal canal narrowing from bone (osteophyte) formation, decreased disc height and degenerative changes due to aging process. The treatment strategy usually includes: physical therapy program aimed to reduce pain and inflammation, and the use of anti-inflammatory medication (as “Motrin”, “Aleve”), also a re-education of your habits and posture, you should be independent in a stretching and strengthening program and continue with these exercises under the periodic supervision of a physical therapist initially and then completely on your own. Often, you should show progressive improvement over the first 6-8 weeks with conservative treatment. If there is no significant improvement in this time frame, consider a surgical evaluation.

 


 

 
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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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