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Arm pain when reaching

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I've been experiencing strange symptoms for awhile now. A little background information ... I'm a 44 year old female who was a heavy smoker but quit in July. In April I had a hysterectomy and when I returned home I couldn't turn over in bed properly so while on my side I would reach behind me which was quite a stretch and shut my bedroom light off and on. I think I pulled something at this time because I started having soreness when I made certain movements. In july I went to my doctor because I would have severe pain when reaching into the back seat of my car and also trying to scratch my back. The pain would be felt over the front of the upper right arm. It would hit and cause an excruciating pain, then fade away. Another movement that caused serious pain was when I was lying on the couch and used the back of the couch to help pull myself into the sitting position. Doing this would cause pain to travel from my upper arm, down my outer forearm, and into my hand. It would last for about 10 seconds then fade away. The arm would go completely weak during the pain and I could barely stand it. At this point in time I had no soreness using my arm in the regular way. My muscles were never sore or painful to the touch. There was no swelling and it was hard to find trigger points when checking over my shoulder. It was like everything was ok until I made these movements. I took physiotherapy because my doctor thought I had tendonitis. The therapy did nothing for me and gradually I started to get more symptoms. If I flexed my bicep muscle hard on that right side while yawning and stretching in the morning I would experience severe pain over the front of my upper arm and also the inner side of the arm. The pain at that time seems to be coming from the bicipital groove and also an area near my shoulder on the neck side ... sort of between the fleshy part and the hard part of the shoulder above the armpit. I began experiencing pain at night also. I couldn't rest my weight on my elbow to turn myself over in bed. I'd have severe upper arm pain. I can raise my arms above my head with no problem unless I'm stretching really high and trying to reach an object. It pains if I raise my arm over my head and sat at flies or wave. It pains if I try to do internal shoulder rotation. If I reach out to the side to roll up a passenger side window when I'm in the driver's seat of the car I get excruciating pain near the front of the shoulder and upper arm. This also happens if I bend over and stretch the arm to grab an object from a lower shelf. I've begun having neck spasms while in bed and flexing my biceps to yawn. The other day I was doing noting but sitting and I began having pins and needles down the right side of my chest and upper arm. It lasted for about 5-10 minutes. My arm is starting to bother me even at rest now. It pains in different areas but isn't painful to touch. My doctor is sending me to an orthopedic guy but it's going to take a year to get in to see him (I'm in Canada).

At the same time this is going on I'm having lung related symptoms. I have a wheeze but no cough and I have a sore area in my right lung. I just had a chest x-ray done and am waiting on the results.I had a chest x-ray and CT scan of my lungs last winter and all was fine but I'm worried that there's something going on with my arm due to a lung condition. Other times I wonder if all my symptoms could stem from the injury I received in April from stretching behind me in bed. Any ideas about what's going on?


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replied October 28th, 2009
Muscular and Nerve Disorders Answer A7662
Hello and welcome to eHealth Forum!

When you stretched a lot to switch off the bedroom light, it appears you have injured a number of muscles such as pectoralis or chest muscle, scalene or shoulder muscle, rotator cuff of the shoulder and maybe biceps and triceps. It could also be a nerve injury in the armpit called brachial plexus. Since you do not have any pressure points, you will have to wait for the orthopedic consultation. A chiropractor can help you determine the pressure points.

By now you would have got your X-ray and CT scan so would have a clear picture regarding your lung problem. Since a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net please discuss this with your s doctor once. Hope this helps. Take care!



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