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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Brachial Plexus - just a pain in the neck?

Having suffered with, what I can only describe as, tense headaches for most of my adult life on a regular and frequent basis and visited the doctors every few years only to be fobbed off with the usual GP baloney. I decided to do some research of my own, web-based of course. Knowing, from an x-ray I had some years ago, that I have a bisected rib that extends into my neck/shoulder area, I studied some muscular and skeletal diagrams of the neck and shoulders in order to identify parts of the body that could be the cause of some underlying problems. I have been increasingly suffering from neck and shoulder pain at the point close to where I have this unusual rib. This led me to the Brachial Plexus. For those lay-people like me that is a cluster of nerves running from the top of the spine, down the neck, through the shoulder blade and down the arm to the hand. Apparently pressure on these can cause pain in the wrist sometimes associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.  Whilst I have never been diagnosed, wrongly or otherwise, with carpal tunnel syndrome or had particular pains in my wrist for that matter, the information I have found sounds reasonable.  Now I'm not the kind of person who reads about an illness and immediately thinks I have it and I'm certainly not a hypochondriac so it pains me to tell you something so bizarre but I have concluded, albeit by sleuth and self-diagnosis, that I may have Cervical Brachial Syndrome thanks to the help of a Neck Pain Support Blog.  The blog helpfully provides some simple techniques and exercises to help relieve the symptoms so that's what I have been doing - they are not difficult and you can do them anywhere and they do feel quite nice and relieving.  

If you're having problems with pain in your neck, shoulder or arms and wrists then it may be as a result of pressure in the brachial plexus so try these simple exercises and if you sit at a desk most of the day, like me, then make sure it is set up correctly and take regular breaks.  That's it.  If that doesn't work then I wish you better luck with your GP than I have had with mine.

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