Dermatomes

Most people have never heard of a dermatome. For chiropractors, dermatomes are a very important concept that can help them figure you what may be causing pain in the arm, numbness in the arm, neck pain and headaches. A dermatome is an area of skin that is controlled by a distinct nerve root. Each nerve root begins at the spinal cord and are named by the vertebra that protects it. You have a pair of nerve roots at each level of the spine; one for the right and one for the left.

As you can see from the chart above, your chiropractor can see where you may have problem in your neck by the area of skin on your arm that may be numb or painful.

Not all arm pain is caused by nerve root pressure. However, many of the patients that visit our office with arm pain or numbness do have a pinched nerve in the cervical spine or neck.  There are many causes of pinched nerves some are an easy pain free treatment and others may take some work to resolve. All pinched nerves can cause permanent problems if not taken care of promptly. Do you or a loved one have arm pain? Arm numbness? I can figure out the cause with a simple exam. Consultations in my office are always free.