Pain in the neck and arm may not be a disc injury

Dr Scott Doroski is the only Chiropractor in Woodbridge Virginia with a Diplomate in Neurology.  Visit him at his Woodbridge VA location:

3122 Golansky Blvd. Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588


Pain into the arm or shoulder area with associated neck pain may not be the dreaded disk injury everyone is afraid of.  It could be an injury called thoracic outlet syndrome.  It sounds scary but it is quite common and can be fixed with the proper non-surgical treatments.

The thoracic outlet is a passageway for the nerves and blood vessels into your arm.  It is located in the upper chest area.  It is made of a boney and muscular opening.  So anything that causes anyone of those structures to become enlarged can compromise the opening.  The most common and most treatable is a muscle spasm that caused the muscle to swell.

Since we are not hollow creatures everything is touching everything.  So a spasm of the neck support musculature can push the tissue forward which then pushes in to the opening.  This spasm is most notable by neck pain and upper shoulder blade pain.  It can be associated with pain in the neck and arm when turning the head towards the side of the pain.  Sometimes turning away from the painful side can actually decrease the neck pain and the referral.

A chiropractor can diagnose this injury from a disk injury and apply the proper treatment.  The treatment usually involves heat, electrical stimulation, stretching and trigger point therapy.  Once the muscle is relaxed manipulation of the spine can also help.

Also visit us at