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Ask Dr. R. Bora Your Own Question
Dr. R. Bora
Dr. R. Bora, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5233
Experience:  14 years experience in the emergency room.
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Hi, Im a female 53 and fell asleep (on my rather hard sofa)

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Hi, I'm a female 53 and fell asleep (on my rather hard sofa) on my side with my arm bent under a pillow for about 90 minutes. Upon waking, my arm hurt very much when moving slightly and I'm unable to lift my arm higher than my elbow. This is now the 3rd day with no change. I applied heat several times over the first 2 days and I'm trying to move it as much as I can. Tylenol helps some. What could this be?? Thank you!
Hello and welcome, I am happy to help you today.

I think you may have a pinched nerve in your neck that runs down into your arm. This is possible from compression and more so if there is associated cervical spondylosis / degenerative changes of the neck bones (osteophytes) which compress the nerves arising from the spinal cord.

You can apply cramergesic analgesic ointment to get rid of the pain.

However, I would like you to follow this up with your GP after 24 hours if there is no improvement. Get a neck X ray done to exclude cervical sponylosis. If positive, you may need an MRI of the neck to exclude a compressed nerve.

I hope my answer has helped you.


Please remember to rate my service positive once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have had a ruptured disk in my neck for over 20 years. Additionally, I forgot to mention, I can actually press on several areas on the top of my arm right below the joint that are painful to the touch??

Hi Sue, that is an important piece of information!

Alright, this may suggest another possibility of " dislocated shoulder joint". This can sometimes occur, although more common with a fall.
I would suggest you go to the ER for an X ray to confirm a shoulder dislocation. If positive, you will need a "closed reduction" which can be done under sedation. So, you should either call up your GP or go to the ER without any delay.


I hope my answer has helped you.


Please remember to rate my service positive once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Dr. R. Bora and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks for the rating.

You should not try to move your arm and get a sling around your shoulder , if possible till you get to the ER.

Take advil or any other pain killer till then.

My best wishes for you.