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Searing Pain In Upper Arm Muscles




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#1 LadyPilot

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 07:48 AM

Three months ago I started to get sharp pain in my right upper arm muscles. At the time I thought it was because I was lifting water and muck buckets (I have a pony) onto my lap with my right arm. So I stopped (and now pay a friend to help). Then I started to take Emu oil capsules, along with Glucosamine +chondroitin, plus rosehip capsules. These have completely 'healed' the old aches and pains I had in my wrists and elbows (I no longer need the magnetic wraps I used to use) but have had no effect on the pain in my upper arms.

After sitting at my PC for a couple of hours I realised that my right arm was aching like hell. I have to sit at a 90deg angle to my PC and I usually lean ( to balance ) on my right arm. So I stopped using my PC (hence no posts since April). The problem did not disappear and now I wonder if somehow I've trapped a nerve in my neck by sitting badly at the PC. I am currently waiting for cervical X-rays, and have been booked in for Physiotherapy. A few days ago the pain became worse in my left arm and the right arm is much better than it was!
Pushing the w'chair causes no pain at all, but any transfer makes me wince. Basically it's any movement, where I have to lift my arm above 90 deg' or lift any small object ie a towel or a mug. One of the worst movements is first thing in the morning when I have to sit up in bed.
I have yet to find an analgesic that touches the pain,( need it for car transfers) besides Id rather find out what is causing the pain than mask it and do further damage.
I don't think it's Rotar cuff damage.

Has anyone had this experience or can tell me what it probably is?
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#2 Apparelyzed

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 08:59 AM

Hi,

Is this where the pain is?

Posted Image

If so, I have the same problem.

I get the pain mainly when transfering, at night in bed, and when trying to lift my arm in certain positions.

Pushing my wheelchair does not cause the pain though, neither does bicept curls, deltoid lifts or pushing exercises.

The pain is present in both arms, and similar to the burning pain I get from root pain, which I have had in the same location ever since my injury in 1992. A heat pad does help, and so do exercises, but I don't want to overdo the exercises in case I could be doing more harm than good.

Strangely, last week, the pain dissapeared, which was great, but this week, I've been doing a few exercises, and it's back again. So, I'm still trying to figure out why it dissapeared.

Regards

Simon

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#3 KimAndSophie

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 09:03 AM

I had the saem type of thing happen to my wrist before my injury. I was told it was most likely from an overstretched or torn muscle. I could move my wrist in most positions fine but when I turned it a certain way it felt like someone stuck a very sharp knife into my wrist and pulled it in the same dirrection. It went on for a month or so, and then it gradually went away.

#4 LadyPilot

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 09:55 AM

Hi,

Is this where the pain is?

Posted Image

If so, I have the same problem.
Regards

Simon


It certainly sounds as though the problem is the same! The pain is deep in the arms. I'm wondering what has caused/ causing it, since I've been SCI over 25yrs now and its only just started.

I use heat pads too. Cura-heat heat packs and ThermaCare heatwraps when I need to be mobile and a europlast reusable hot pack or electric pad when Im sitting still. I find the heat pads also work on the neuropathic pain I get in my right forearm.


I really would like to get the pain under control/sorted as it is affecting my quality of life :dunno:
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#5 Deej

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 02:34 PM

Hi Ladypilot,

I have had the same kind of pain in my right upper arm since last September, varying in intensity and also in the type of movement that triggers it. I first thought it happened because I had been repainting my back garden fence and thought I had overstrained the muscles, but resting for a while had no effect.

Since then I have had some physio which improved it a little. The physio told me I have 'impingement syndrome'. I also had an ultrasound scan and have a small tear in my supraspinatus tendon (though this can be found incidentally in many over-30's without symptoms). X-Rays showed nothing at all.

Like you pushing myself around doesn't cause me any pain, but reaching for things and transferring does. I have adjusted the way I do things and am using my left arm more now, and I have good days and bad days.

Apparently one of the signs (amongst others) that it is impingement syndrome is that to perform an overhead throw type movement causes pain - does that fit with your experience?

Anyway I am managing to live with it mostly and just hoping things will continue to get better. I don't want to have an operation on it. Think I might give acupuncture a go.....eventually......I don't like needles so I'm plucking up the courage.

Anyway I hope you figure out what is wrong with yours and get it sorted soon.
Deej

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#6 LadyPilot

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 03:48 PM

Apparently one of the signs (amongst others) that it is impingement syndrome is that to perform an overhead throw type movement causes pain - does that fit with your experience?


Yes, this also fits with what I'm experiencing. I used to excercise my dog by throwing the ball overarm for her, but have been unable to do so for a number of weeks. I now have to 'flick it' sideways or throw underarm.

What pain relief do you use, in order to do the things that 'have' to be done?

Thanks for the replies guys, its been heartening to know that I've not been suffering alone :dunno:
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#7 GreenwoodSC

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 09:15 PM

i have the same pain under my elbows only when i transfer and do presssure relieves so i bought a strap from cvs and put it on whenever i have to transfer or exercise and it helps.

#8 Deej

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 11:50 AM

Hi again Ladypilot,

I'm not big on taking much pain relief - I don't like the thought of masking pain to get on with things with the potential to make matters worse in the long run, so I tend to mostly try to do things in a different way that won't hurt too much. I have become quite ambidextrous (? spelling), particularly as I had a big problem with my right elbow a number of years ago which also required me to make more use of my left arm (Elbow is now painfree, but has restricted flexion and extension).

My upper arm does cause me some trouble with continuous ache at night time though, particularly when I lie on that side, so if it is bad I do take ibuprofen tablets before bed and rub on some Voltarol gel, this seems to do the trick. I tried the heat pad thing in the early days of the problem but I didn't feel it made that much difference.

Take care with the physio - during my 4 months of physio I felt that a lot of what they had me doing actually made matters worse - it seems to be very much trial and error. One thing they did that did help though was 'therapeutic ultrasound' on the painful area.

Anyway good luck, let us know if you find a miracle cure !
Deej

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#9 edlee

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 09:36 PM

I found the ulrasound useful, too

Mine was more in the shoulder, but it may help yours.

In the rehab facility to which I went, they also used electrical stimulation a few times just before I left. It also seemed to help, but I haven't had the opportunity since to try it again.

My experience is limited, so I can't be of much help, but please keep us posted cause I could use some help myself.

ed

#10 ParaforGod

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:15 AM

I also have the same pain. It is worse at nighttime. My pain feels so deep in my arm but like the rest of you it doesn't hurt during transfers. I told my daughter how bad the pain is and wondered what was going on. I have the pain in both arms but it is worse in my right arm and Im right handed. I would be interested in knowing if your pain is worse in the hand that you do everything with. I hate that you all have the pain.

#11 Deej

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 06:43 PM

Hey Ladypilot,

How's the arm coming along? Did physio help at all?

Mine is much much better recently - maybe its the warmer weather? Doesn't bother me so much at night time anymore and not so restrictive during the day, so hang in there - things should get better!

Take care.
Deej

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#12 LadyPilot

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 09:04 AM

How's the arm coming along? Did physio help at all?


Hi Deej, Thanks for asking and for everyone who has posted in reply to original post......

First of all the pain in my right arm vanished completely about 2 weeks ago. I could throw overarm again. The same pain which had been in my right arm is now appearing in my left arm. (Worse for me as my left hand and arm are stronger than the right).

I had the Cervical X-rays done two weeks ago and will be getting the Official results on Monday from my GP. However, when I had the X-rays done I asked for a copy of the images. These I sent to someone (qualified to read X-rays)and his findings Ive added here:

" I have analysed the two xrays and my findings will follow. With only the Anterior to Posterior and Lateral it will not be a completely accurate report. There should be diagonals and an A-P open mouth, and a flexion and extension as well. Anyway here goes;

No 1 xray.
Anterior to Posterior. ( I am assuming the view is from Post to Ant. The Acq is on the right, if not, all rights should read left, etc )
Axis spinous is level with the Occiput.
C3 and C4 are level.
C5 has moved to the left. ( comparing the spinous with the body of the vertebra )
C6 begins the scoliosis to the left.
C7 is grossly left rotated, as is T1, 2 and 3.
T4 is returning to the centre line.
T5 has centralised.

Comment ; Severe rotatory scoliosis, convex left, in the low cervical and upper thoracic region. ( May have a severe a effect on the Brachial Plexus wich may be a contributary factor re your shoulder.)

No 2 xray.

Disc lesion C3/4. with anterior inferior osteophyte formation.
C4 posterior to C5 with osteophytes on both vertebrae. and also at the intervertebral foramen.
C4/5 Disc lesion with osteophytes on ant. surface.
C5/6. Alignment ok but osteophytes and slight disc reduction in size.
C7 Compression frature and what appears to be spinal canal stenosis on the posterior superior surface.
C7/T1 disc ok.

Recommendations.
Cervical Traction ? it may help to separate the vertebrae thereby releasing pressure on the nerve roots.
Your accident was so long ago, the fracture has certainly stabilised. I would recommend very gentle manipulation to reduce the scoliosis, bearing in mind the fact there is no ankylosing spondylosis.

Comment. The compression fracture and spinal stenosis are the cause of the problem and the scoliosis is a contributary factor. Increasing disc size and reducing the scoliosis I am sure would be of great benefit.

I'm sorry that is the best I can do with only 2 xrays. I sincerely hope that is has helped."

Further to this he wrote:
" If your problem was purely muscular, yes it (Physiotherapy ) would probably help, but considering the scoliosis, and disc problems it would be unlikely to help much.

A reduction of the scoliosis would probably be my first concern, along with increasing the disc spaces. The osteophytes or calcification deposits cannot be reduced, but a diet that reduces your acid intake (Dam, no more red wine!!!) will help or slow down the progress. An increase in your Potassium intake would also be of benefit in freeing up the joints.

I would recommend you doing some mild traction with a weight not exceding 10 lbs. for the first week and slowly increasing week by week until you have doubled the weight. This is to be done twice a day for no longer than 20 minutes, at a time. Then I would do very gentle manipulations to reduce the scoliosis. ( I assume the scoliosis is convex to the left, if that is correct then I would also recommend you did a lot of neck rotation to the left, very gently.)"

It will be interesting to see if the Official report matches the one above! I'm also seeing the Physiotherapist on Monday (25th) for an assessment.

Im looking at buying a cervical traction unit ( over the door or inflatable type - both on Ebay).

How's everyone else doing with pain management etc?
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#13 Deej

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 12:58 PM

Hi LAdypilot, Glad to hear some things are getting better for you. I can pretty much guarantee that the 'official' report of your x-rays will not be as comprehensive as the one your friend has given you (I take it the x-rays were done on the NHS?) - I am a Radiographer so know how limited most x-ray reports are.
I am very impressed with the detail your friend has gone into - is he orthopaedically trained? I have never heard of being able to reduce a scoliosis by exercise alone, but if he thinks it will help then you are probably right to give it a try.

Best of luck x
Deej

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#14 LadyPilot

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 02:03 PM

I can pretty much guarantee that the 'official' report of your x-rays will not be as comprehensive as the one your friend has given you.
- I am a Radiographer so know how limited most x-ray reports are.
I am very impressed with the detail your friend has gone into - is he orthopaedically trained? I have never heard of being able to reduce a scoliosis by exercise alone, but if he thinks it will help then you are probably right to give it a try.

Best of luck x


You were so right about the Xray report! My Gp even had to chase them up for the two line report, which read ," Evidence of previous fracture to the vertebral body of C7. Considerable change of cervical spondylosis from C3 to C7."
My GP has decided to take no action. I did attend two Physio sessions in which the Physio put so much strain on my upper body that I could hardly drive myself home and then ended up virtually housebound because any movement was agony.
However here I am four weeks later feeling a bit better because I got myself an over door cervical traction unit and 15 mins a day has relieved the nerves in my neck and so my arms are getting to be full and free movement without pain!
Next step is a check up at Stoke Manderville......
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#15 hockeydahc

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:56 PM

to sort of play comic relief in a situation I know is painful...

does over-the-door-cervical-traction-unit sound to anyone else like fancy talk for "rope to hang yourself with"?

alright sorry. I read the words several times and kept thinking of the same image. kinda like someone got ripped off from Ebay. Ordered an over-the-door-cervical-traction-unit and opened the package to find rope.

#16 LadyPilot

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 11:30 AM

does over-the-door-cervical-traction-unit sound to anyone else like fancy talk for "rope to hang yourself with"?

kinda like someone got ripped off from Ebay. Ordered an over-the-door-cervical-traction-unit and opened the package to find rope.



Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
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#17 Deej

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 06:21 PM

LOL !

:(
Deej

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#18 hockeydahc

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 08:58 PM

thank you, thank you. I'm here all week.


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