Pain in the neck traveling down the arm often represents a disc bulge with associated radicular symptoms. However, sometime it might be something a lot less severe, such as a Facet Syndrome.
With a facet injury, the person often will report a minor to moderate traumatic onset of neck and arm pain. It could be from a simple, sudden, turning motion of the head, or a minor motor vehicle accident. In some people the onset could be insidious with no recent trauma. The person will complain of neck pain traveling down the outer part of the arm into the hand.
To differentiate between disc and facet, a chiropractor will perform a neurologic examination. With referred facet pain we usually see normal deep tendon reflexes, normal muscle strength and numbness is often subjective with no objective sensory findings.
The treatment of choice is manipulation of the joints of the neck. If unsuccessful, cervical traction may be of benefit. Active Release Techniques is used to treat trigger points and any myofascial contribution to the pain.