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Mysterious Arm Pain
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Mysterious Arm Pain

I am a reasonably healthy 42 year old woman. About a week ago, (1/2/05) I started to feel a dull ache in my left arm, near the place where the bicep meets the elbow. The ache was sometimes a tingling, leaving some numbness in the lower part of the arm down to the fingers. The sensation is not unbearably painful, but a very strange feeling -- weakness, I guess.
Is this a symptom of something that could be serious?
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Avatar_n_tn
Without seeing and examining you I cannot make a clinical diagnosis.
Your symptoms may or may not be neurological in origin. Whatever is causing it, may be pinching a nerve causing the tingling sensation down to the fingers.
It's not clear whether you had some trauma to the nerve at the elbow or whether there is some eg tendinitis or bursitis (inflammation at certain parts of the mucle or joint) causing the aching, and pinching of the nerve. Alternatively any kind of a growth in the area may cause your symptoms, for example a lipoma (fatty lump).

The recovery from a pinched nerve is variable, depending on how long the nerve was pinched for (see comment). A brief period of pinching (the nerve is 'stunned'), should result in a quick and complete recovery in hours to days. A longer pinching may mean damage to the nerve and takes longer to heal, if completely (days to weeks).

If you symptoms persist you may want to see your local neurologist for an examination and or nerve conduction study/EMG
Good luck
PW
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, sorry to hear about your arm, but I'm 41 and male, and i just fell asleep in my computer chair at home and woke up and my hand was kind of numb.  It's been 10 days now and i still have no strength in my hand, and can't even hold a full glass of water without my wrist kind of hangin there.  
It's very strange indeed.  Haven't been to the Dr. yet, we guys seem to wait till it turns blue or falls off, but now i'm getting worried.

Good luck with your arm, seems like we're both perplexed and have some strange ailment
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Avatar_n_tn
I would certainly have it checked out, ASAP! Sounds to me like you've pinched a nerve. Look up info on the net regarding damage to the radial and ulna nerves. I'm no expert, but in search for my own answers regarding my problem I do recall seeing information regarding "wrist drop" I believe it has more to do with the radial nerve or the ulnar nerve

Following taken from the net:

"With treatment, a pinched nerve generally heals in a few days to a few weeks. Chronic cases can result from persistent irritation of the affected nerve. In some cases, damage to the nerve can become permanent"

"Radial nerve= most commonly injured nerve in the body (long course along shaft of frequently fractured bone, the humerus)
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Avatar_n_tn
This is an amazing coincidence. On Tuesday (4 days ago) I woke up and my right arm felt odd - as if I had slept on it all night (which I have done in the past). It was aching from my shoulder down to my index finger and thumb. Tingley sensations, throbbing aches, and tenderness on the top part of my arm and hand. I thought for sure it would cease as the day went on. It didn't. So I was thankful when I climbed into bed that night because I was sure my arm was just overworked for some reason. After all, I had not injured my arm at all in any way. The next morning I woke up to the same dull, uncomfortable ache. The pain travels within my arm. So I began massaging, stretching, sitting up straight. Didn't help. Sometimes, it feels like my arm is falling asleep. Pins and needles sensation. Other times, my arm feels so heavy. This pain has lasted for a few days now. When I sleep at night I try not to sleep on my arm, which I tend to do, that seems to help. But now I'm getting worried...like maybe I have bone marrow cancer in my arm? Or from the cel phone (I grip the cel with my right hand). I don't have insurance currently but I have a free clinic I can go to. I'm hoping this will just go away if I keep my body in alignment.
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Avatar_n_tn
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