Shoulder pain and numbness in your fingers or hands could be related. If you’re trying to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms, a nerve or blood vessel injury may to blame.
Consider these conditions:
A pinched nerve, also called cervical radiculopathy, can result in shoulder pain, along with numbness and weakness in your arm and hand.1 Some patients describe the numbing sensation in their hands and fingers as “pins and needles.” A pinched nerve can occur when a nerve in the neck is squeezed or aggravated.1
Brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain and numbness and weakness in your arm and hand, among other symptoms.2 The brachial plexus refers to a web of nerves that starts in your neck. It controls feeling and movement in your hand and arm.3,4
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition that may cause shoulder and neck pain, as well as numbness in your fingers.5 It occurs when blood vessels or nerves in your collarbone and first rib are squeezed.5
Most of us experience minor instances of shoulder pain and numbness from time to time, and occasionally these symptoms are the result of a more serious medical condition. When it comes to shoulder pain and hand numbness, there are many causes for your doctor to consider.
- Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00332. Last reviewed: June 2015. Accessed November 22, 2016.
- Brachial plexopathy. MedlinePlus website. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001418.htm. Reviewed May 30, 2016. Accessed November 22, 2016.
- Brachial Plexus Injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00678. Last reviewed: June 2015. Accessed November 22, 2016.