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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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Pain in left bicep

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I started out with pain and weakness in my left arm, mainly in the bicep. It can range from a dull ache to very sharp, stabbing pain. I have trouble using that arm to lift, reach or stretch. I get the stabbing pain even will at rest. I also get in the front left side of my neck (in the Stemocleidomastiod muscle area) a dull ache to sever stabbing like pain.
I have been in therapy for over two months now for Bicep Tendonitis with little to no change.
In fact the problem seems to be spreading. I now have pain in my back around the shoulder blades (both sides) and pain in my chest and left leg. The Doctor ran a CBC that came back OK. I have had an X-ray of my Bicep and a MRI of my shoulder that both came back OK. I had an EMG that was OK.I have had my Thyroid checked. I had a Stress Test done My doctor still seems to think that it is just Bicep Tendonitis, but my Therapist really thinks there is more going on. My doctor tells me there is nothing else he can really do for me because the test just done give him any reason to. What can I do? Am I just suppose to live with this stabbing pain and never get full use of my arm back ?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
How long have you had this pain -- and how long ago was the EMG done?

Do you have pain that goes into the forearm, or the hand at all?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have been dealing with the pain for at least 8 months. It got to the point were I just couldn't handle working any more. I have been trying to get an answer and some relief since the beginning of Feb. The ENG was just last week. It goes into the forearm but not really the hand.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
OK.

The EMG should have shown evidence of a nerve-related injury as a cause of the pain.

However, pain that radiates into the forearm as well as you having pain in the neck seems to suggest that the pain could be coming from a "pinched" nerve in the neck region, as pinched nerves, in particular, the C5 or C6 nerve in the neck, can cause pain that appears to be over the shoulder and into the forearm, respectively.

This would be evaluated with a MRI of the neck, or cervical spine.

Perhaps you should discuss this with your doctor about a possible test for evaluation.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have MORE than once. Just today as a matter of fact and he insists that because the EMG did not show anything that there is nothing to support having an MIR of my neck done. What can I do ?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Well, it would indeed be unusual for pain from nerve irritation not show up on a EMG test.

But your symptoms seem to suggest this as a possible cause. Bicep tendonitis is unlikely to cause pain in the neck, nor the forearm.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am considering talking to a Vascular specialist even though my doctor says the blood work does not indicate that there may be colts. Which I have had in my right hand before and was treaded for.Do you think it is possible?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Well, anything is possible (since I am just talking with you over the Internet).

But the symptoms do not seem to fit with blood clots (which would likely cause swelling in the arm, due to blocked veins. A clot in the artery would have been immediately apparent, due to a cold blue hand or finger).
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No other thoughts or suggestions ?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Well, a neurologic exam (as well as the MRI) would be the best thing here. Seeing a neurologist may be best in helping in your evaluation.

It really is tough to make any real suggestions without having the benefit of a physical exam, but seeing a neurologist may help give another set of eyes to your symptoms.
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