Orthopedics Community
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Avatar universal

Having trouble properly diagnosing arm pain.

I've been having trouble with my right arm for a little over a year.  There is a brief history of pain and how it began.  There seem to be two separate "incidents" contributing to my current condition.

First, I used to have a job where I was on a computer a lot.  I started having some burning and fatigue in my right forearm.  This never got very serious, it just seemed to linger and periodically come and go.  

Second, while working out one day I had a very specific incident.  I was doing dips and felt a twinge or a zap on the back side of my right arm from my shoulder all the way down to my hand.  I stopped for a moment and very foolishly decided to continue with my workout and do push ups.  Same pain, much worse.  The next day I woke and felt some pain and swelling in my elbow.  I've felt a similar type pain many years ago after throwing a football.  

All of this was roughly a year ago.  That brings me to where I am now.  I've been experiencing pain on and off for the past year.  I had periodically gone on streaks of taking ibuprofen and icing and it started to feel like it may be getting better.  So about a month ago I decided to start lifting some light weights to see where I was.  Mostly bench press.  After a couple of workouts my symptoms have gotten much worse.  The pain in my arm is in multiple areas from top to bottom and seems to show up in different areas from time to time.  Currently I have burning in the top of my forearm.  I also have fatigue, mild pain, and mild burning on the inside of my forearm.  I have mild pain and a burning on the inside of my arm above the elbow just below my bicept.  I also periodically have pain on the outside of my elbow where the soft tissue is that runs through my elbow.  Additionally the pain the I feel in my forearm feels slightly like I hit my funny bone, but never goes away.  

Could someone please advise?  I am very frustrated and going crazy being limited in my physical activities for so long now.  PLEASE HELP!
4 Responses
Avatar universal

Go for present day scans to diagnose any past local injury. Do not exert or do any physical exercise till you are diagnosed.

Use ice packs and NSAIDs to decrease the pain.

Follow up with an orthopedician.

Take care!
1027575 tn?1390964018
Good morning Donald,  i've had both my shoulders scoped for minor torn cartilage and it did wonders and i also am currenly battling tennis elbow research TENNIS ELBOW's symtoms, damn it hurts but there isn't alot i can do about it but rest and change my activities, i have had some relief using those velcro straps used on the forearm. you can find those in walmarts or pharmacies  i would suggest seeing a sports medicine doctor that just works on shoulders and arms not everything, he'll most likely send you for a MRI that can see soft tissue tears and just for gp's have an x-ray taken.  good luck    Phill
Avatar universal
thank you for the feedback.  i saw an orthopedic surgeon.  he said he thinks the symptoms are a pinched nerve.  i'm seeing a neurologist later this month.  Being on a computer seems to be a large contributor as well.  we'll see what happens.  i don't think it's a pinched nerve though because anti-inflammatory definitely helps my symptoms.
Avatar universal
Ok, since my original post I have seen an orthopedic surgeon who recommended me to see a neurologist.  I've visited the neurologist 4 times now.  I've and an EMG done.  Everything came back normal except for an abnormality in my tricep.  I've had a cervical spine MRI to check for bulging discs that may be pinching the nerve or bone spurring.  Nothing showed up.  The neurologist said he feels like it's 100% not a pinched nerve.  I asked him why I'm having pain all the way down the inside of my arm and now having pain on the right side of my neck.  He said it's a result of a musculoskeletal issue.  He prescribed an anti-depressant call Zoloft of all things!  He said it's not for depression, but that they have success with using this for musculoskeletal issues.  I don't buy it and it made me feel like a zombie.  I stopped taking it.  I'm very frustrated.  I can't find the source of my problem and can't get it fixed.  Perhaps I'm foolish for not listening to this doctor, but I just don't believe I need to take a pill that messes with the chemical balance of my brain for something purely physical.  I'm not sure what type of doctor I should be seeing now.  This affects my life in that I can't do anything physical.  Any further advice from anyone would be appreciated.  I'm desperate to start being active and exercising again!  The only thing that has helped thus far is acupuncture, but as I understand it that's just a band-aid for the pain.
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