Numbness in any part of the body is always alarming. For the lucky ones, the only time we experience numbness is when we are sitting wrong and our foot falls asleep. For other people numbness travels down the shoulder into their arms and even into their finger tips. What’s even more interesting is when people have numbness in only certain fingers or certain parts of the arm or shoulder. There is actually science to this. Signals are sent from the brain, down the spinal cord, and through nerve roots. Nerve roots leave the spine between two corresponding vertebra which then communicate with the nerves into the shoulders, arms, and fingers. Nerves control not only pain, numbness, tingling, and movement, but also things like hot and cold too. Where someone is experiencing pain, numbness, or discomfort in the shoulders, arms, or fingers directly relates to which nerve roots are irritated or compressed. For example, when looking at the fingers, C6 nerve root innervates the thumb, C7 controls the index finger and middle finger, and C8 controls the ring finger and pinky. Corrective care chiropractors are trained to look at x-rays to see if any of the vertebra are shifted forward or if there is a loss of curvature in the neck. What these structural shifts can do is irritate the nerve roots which are working to communicate to the shoulders, arms, and fingers. Restoring the structure of the neck not only takes strain off the nerves, the discs are also healthier, and the muscles that attach to the spine are more relaxed. Often when there is a loss of curve in the neck, the shoulder muscles, scalene muscles, and even chest muscles can become very tight. Working with stretching and strengthening the muscles along with gentle corrective chiropractic adjustments can work to change the structure of the nervous system so that the symptoms can be resolved. If you know someone experiencing discomfort, pain, or numbness, encourage them to schedule a complementary consultation to see if corrective chiropractic care could be a natural solution for them.