5619229 tn?1371051348

Pain in my right arm

I have been having this sharp pain in my right arm between my shoulder and elbow... I cant move my arm as much anymore... it hurts to unstrap my bra, or when ever I try to use my arm to touch my back or lift too high... I have had this pain for more than 6 months now. What can it be?
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4851940 tn?1515694593
You need to see your doctor for referral to a physiotherapist.

You do not say whether you have been doing any strenuous or weight lifting or had a fall before this happened.

It may be that there is a problem with a bone or a muscle or trapped nerve in the neck area.  The doctor may refer you for an xray or ultrasound.
If there is a trapped nerve the physiotherapist can help release that as well as give you gentle exercises to do.

Take pain relief medication for the pain and see if either warm or cold compresses work.

With regard to your bra, strap that at the front and then twist it to the back and then place the cups over your breasts and the straps over your shoulders.  I have not been able to strap and unstrap a bra at the back for years.

Best wishes.
Helpful - 0
144586 tn?1284666164
What you need to do is while experiencing pain, lie on your back on the floor and have someone apply gentle axial traction, pulling your head up away from the body along the axis of the spine.

There is no "trapped muscle".

In general x-rays will not be definitive,although one must rule our a tumor or neuroma.

First there must be a determination that there is no degenerative disorder.

An MRI will likely show a narrowing of an area through which nerves pass. There will be what is called spinal stenosis.

"Gentle exercises" are contraindicated. Warm or cold compresses are useless.

If there is no other cause and axial traction works movement through the limits of pain together with use of an axial traction device (about $35)  is usually recommended.

Generally this is referred pain along a dermatome. Usually, but not always it is due to nerve compression in the cervical area secondary to an incident a long time ago where the head was moved forcefully foward or backward.

Pain medications won't work, however anti-inflammatories will.

You are well on your way to getting what is called a "frozen shoulder" which will result in immobilization of your arm. This ius because you will "self-splint" to avoid pain and over a course of time your range of motion will be diminished.

A pain specialist will help, along with a consult with a specialist in subluxion injuries.

A cervical collar and muscle relaxants are contraindicated because they cause loss of muscle tone.

The axial traction works best when done for several minutes a dozen times a day with intervals in-between.

Transdermal lidocaine patches along the cervical vertebra for no longer than 12 hours a day are sometimes prescribed.
Helpful - 0
4851940 tn?1515694593
Who said anything about a trapped muscle?  I have never heard of muscles getting trapped!

When I was experiencing pain between my shoulder blade and my elbow, the physiotherapist found that it was a trapped nerve in the cervical (neck) area.  She applied pressure to the particular point which she did twice over a two week period and that sorted out my problem.

I am not saying that is what you have, because until you get a proper qualified assessment, you will not know what is causing this.

Some anti-inflammatory drugs do cause side effects and some people cannot take them. So they should be used with caution.  

The gentle exercises as would be recommended by a physiotherapist if this was felt it was required, is what would stop the shoulder from getting stiff and becoming "frozen".

Wishing you a speeding recovery.

Best wishes.
Helpful - 0
144586 tn?1284666164
Pain relief following axial traction is definitive. Period.

The reason for an x-ray or MRI is to determine  if there is any form of structural damage, dengerative spinal disease, neuroma or tumor causing nerve compression. You wouldn't want to cause further damage.

If not manipulation of the skull through "range-of-motion" is the appropriate treatment. You rotate your head around. This is in addition to intermittant axial traction. The vertebra are not properly maligned and movement of the vertebra through manipulation by a chiropractor often ends the problem.

Keep well-hydrated.

Hot and cold compresses are inappropriate because they cause swelling which causes further nerve impingement.

Ultrasound is inappropriate for either diagnosis or treatment. If prescribed for treatment the vibrations further irritate the nerve.

Thwe "exercises" are not "gentle exercises" but exercises not to improve strength but (a) isometric exercises to improve muscle tone in the neck to keep the verterbra appart. (b) range of motion exercises of the arm through the limits of pain.

A cervical collar and muscle relaxants are contraindicated.

Sit-ups are also helpful. Isometric exercises involve placing your hand against your forehead and pushing against the hand for 20-30 seconds and repeating the drill at about thirty degree intervals around the head.

Anti-inflammatories are part of the treatment. Many physicians start with a short period of prescription prednisone, with taper, followed by an NSAID.

Manipulation by a chiropractor is often helpful.

Axial traction before and after manipulation is helpful. Buy the device (about $35), discard the water bag and "slightly" suspend yourself for from ten to twenty seconds. Follow by head range-of-motion. Do this a dozen times a day with an hour or so in-between.

Helpful - 0
4851940 tn?1515694593
I received medical axial traction on my neck many years ago, and unfortunately it did not help my symptoms.

The hospital therapist told me at the time to never allow anyone to do a manual axial traction on my neck, because it could worsen my condition.

I would not allow anyone who is not trained in that technique to give me any axial traction in a million years.

Anti-inflammatory medication was part of my treatment, but unfortunately I am the few people that it made my condition worse by causing oedema, so my doctor took me off it.

A person with a similar problem in another forum has been told by their doctor that it could be tenosynovitis and has made a referral to a physiotherapist.

I would suggest that to get a correct diagnosis and receive the appropriate treatment it imperative to see medical assistance.

Best wishes.
Helpful - 0
144586 tn?1284666164
Axial traction performed by anyone in order to diagnose the problem will not "worsen the condition". The "hospital therapist" was ill-informed.

In the case of degenerative arthritis, manipulation is contraindicated. That is one of the reasons for an X-ray or MRI.

Anti-inflammatory medications do not cause edema.
Helpful - 0
4851940 tn?1515694593
Sorry caregiver222, but in my case Ibuprofen did.  It was only when my doctor told me to stop taking it that the oedema and swelling slowly subsided.

My hospital therapist was a specialist in his field.
Helpful - 0
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