A pinched nerve in the upper body can be the result of a traumatic injury, a degenerated disc in the back that has allowed pressure to be put on the nerves or a condition such as arthritis that creates bone spurs that place pressure on the nerve. A pinched nerve can be extremely painful. It is treated with a combination of rest, physiotherapy and pain medication. More extreme cases may require surgery to remove the pressure. A pinched nerve can trigger many neck and arm symptoms.
Tingling in the Arm
A tingling sensation in the arm is a pinched nerve symptom that often starts at the shoulder and radiates down the arm to the wrist. According to Neck Solutions, the sensation could also radiate into one or more fingers. The nerve that is pinched will dictate which fingers are affected. Commonly the thumb and pointing finger are affected together. The middle finger will usually experience the sensation on its own, while the ring and pinky finger are grouped by a pinched nerve.
Numbness and Weakness
According to Dr. Brandon J. Luskin, who writes for Spine Universe, as the condition advances there can be numbness in the arm accompanied by a progressive feeling of weakness. The arm may begin to feel cold, and it can become difficult to lift anything with the arm.
A pinched nerve can make moving the head and neck painful. When a nerve is pinched it can be difficult to look straight up. During the initial stages of a pinched nerve in the neck, looking up and opening your mouth can be extremely painful as well.
Looking Side to Side
The range of mobility in your neck is affected by a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve will make it difficult, if not impossible, to turn your head so that your chin is directly over your shoulder. This is usually more prominent on the side of the pinched nerve.
The sensations in the arm that arise from a pinched nerve can range from the tingling sensation to pain. The pain normally starts as a sharp pain that sends shocks of pain each time the arm is moved. It can be in one specific part of the arm, or it can radiate all the way down to the tips of the fingers. Over time the pain will become a constant burning sensation.