15934705 tn?1444072890

Sudden sharp forearm pain

Female, 32.  I do have a history of inflammatory arthritis, but it is not a joint pain. Pain level, when not moving at all: 2 (just tender); when moving thumb 6 (medium sharp pain); when touching the area 7 (pretty high up there).

I was peeling potatoes last night for dinner and at some point started feeling forearm pain.  I finished through the pain thinking it would go away after.  Woke up today with even worse pain.  The pain is local to 2 inches above from the wrist is on top in the area straight above from the index finger.  I can't have any pressure in the area: so hurts to hold a glass of water, hurts to write, hurts to even type this or use a mouse.  When I wiggle my fingers it doesn't do anything, except for thumb.  When I wiggle my thumb I get the sharp pain about 2 inches from the wrist on top.  I googled the area and it seems to be called Flexor pollicis longus muscle.  It feels like it is swollen a bit but I might be just afraid to touch, since it hurts like crazy. Don't see lumps. What should I do?  I could see a doctor, but I am located in Canada, and while doctors are free, they don't do much here.  By the time you see a specialist you could wait up to 2 years (been there done that).  Anything I could try now to eliminate?
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547368 tn?1440541785
Hi Katie,

Welcome to our Pain Management Forum. I'm glad you found us but sorry to hear about your pain.

Please know that you are always welcome here but I should inform you that we have two Arthritic Forums. Some of us are on both forums but obviously there are also ppl there that mainly have Arthritis in some form. You may want to post there. I'm providing both links:



Are you currently on any anti-inflammatory meds? If not I'd contact your Pharmacist and ask for a recommendation for an OTC NSAID. I'd treat the area like an injury - at least initially. Applying ice may help reduce the pain, inflammation and any swelling you may be experiencing. It's usually recommended that you keep the area elevated and limit use.

I understand it may take some time to consult a physician - but even a consult with your PCP would be better than nothing - or going to an Urgent Care - if you have such clinics in Canada. I'd make that appointment now even if it took months to get in to see a medical provider. You can't predict  how this may progress - so making that appt now makes sense to me.  I hope it'll soon be much better.

I hope something we have offered will be of help to you. Please let us know. We'd like to hear from you again. Take Care!


Helpful - 0
15439126 tn?1444443163
Sounds a lot like tendonitis (I had this for a few months, it preceded my two year bout with frozen shoulder syndrome).  If it is tendonitis, your doctor (I doubt a specialist would need to be called in) may prescribe an anti-inflammatory transdermal salve to see if that provides relief (but, not everyone can tolerate anti-inflammatories in their bodies).

While uncomfortable in use, is the discomfort reduced after using the arm for some serious prolonged effort?

Does firm massage (eg. oiling the arm and rolling something round and hard along the site), lead to easing the discomfort?

Does applying heat, help?

You may find extra pillows useful for propping the arm in bed, to get a more comfortable, pain reduced posture.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Katie.  :)

First, I'd like to welcome you to our PM (Pain Management) Forum here on our MH (MedHelp) Community.

I'm so sorry to hear of your added pain.  I have Osteoarthritis and not the inflammatory arthritis as you do, however, from what I've seen on it, I'd like to ask you whether you have a Doctor that follows you and.gives.you the different meds you need to fight this disease.  If you do, can you get in to see him/her or if you don't can you get back in to see the Doctor that diagnosed you with your inflammatory arthritis? Since I'm here in the U.S. I don't have the knowledge of the way it works in Canada.  I just hate to think of you having to wait for an appointment.  However, I still think you would best be served by making an appointment ASAP so you can get some longer lasting help and a Diagnosis as to what is going on for sure with your pain.  

In the meantime, I'd TRY, (I know it's easier said than done) to reduce the use of your arm until your pain subsides some.  You might even try a wrist brace that you should be able to get from your local pharmacy and see if that won't help you with your pain in the short term until you get that appointment with your Doctor.  Hopefully, this could turn out to be as simple as a strain on your muscle but it also it definitely could be a result of your inflammatory arthritis, so you need to get it diagnosed.  I feel so bad for you as you are so very young.  I, too, was diagnosed with my Osteoarthritis at the age of 28 but the Soctor's told me that I'd more than likely had it since I was a teenager.  

I'm thinking of you and I wish you the very best.  HANG IN THERE, we're here to help in any way that we can, even if it's just providing you and me and everyone a place to vent and let out our frustrations to others that UNDERSTAND!  

I'll be looking forward to your updates and what you find out from your Doctor's and how long you have to wait for that appointment.  Here's hoping it will be SOON!  

Best wishes...........              Sherry   :)
Helpful - 0
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