Your arm itches all the time but your dermatologist says there is nothing wrong with you. You might want to see a physiotherapist for a neck problem instead.

There is a chronic condition of itchy arms called brachioradial pruritus. A new study reported in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests a strong link between the itch and a compressed nerve in the neck which physiotherapists can help relieve.


While it seems that dermatologists are just finding more about this condition (See Is A Compressed Spinal Nerve Causing Itchy Arms?), it is not a new concept to musculoskeletal rehabilitation specialists like physiotherapists. It combines two concepts that we have discussed before in the past in MCR.

  1. Dermatome patterns (see Dermatome Patterns)
  2. Referred Pains (see Arm pain or neck pain…Where is the source?)

It is not un-reasonable for us to look at or around the problem area for the source of the problem. But it early diagnosis and treatment based on this narrow scope of analysis does not yield results, we have to expand the scope of our search.

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