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Dr. Thomas, MD
Dr. Thomas, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 56053
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, also Integrative, CAM, etc
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Hi, I have been experiencing left arm pain for the past

Resolved Question:

Hi,

I have been experiencing left arm pain for the past twenty minutes. It is a radiating pain that extends down the inside of my arm. I'm not experiencing any nausea, chest pains, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms of a heart attack. In addition, I have no family history of heart problems and my blood pressure was just checked earlier today and it was normal. Should I be concerned?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
Hello from JA

I am Dr. Thomas, double board certified doctor, and I will help you with this and any follow up questions.

It is very unlikely that this is heart pain.
It would be quite surprising if it were, but you can not rule out a serious problem without exam and EKG.

Radiating pain like this can also occur due to a problem in the neck, for example, in people with disc disease of the spine.

Or, nerve compression elsewhere such as in the shoulder.

None the less, if you don't have a baseline EKG and cardiac work up done already, you should at least be examined and have an EKG.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I had a physical back in July and an EKG was done. Is there anything more I should do?

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
We of course can not diagnose you or examine you.

The pain is certainly not normal, although it could be musculoskeletal.

Anxiety and panic attacks can also do this.


Ibuprofen.

Heat or cold, which ever feels better.
And exam.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Okay. So unless more symptoms develop it's nothing to worry about?

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
Of course I can not tell you that without an examination.

It is most likely not something to worry about unless there is increasing pain, numbness, weakness in the arm, etc.

But without exam that is not 100% at all.

Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Well, I know there's no such thing a 100%. I'm just asking for the best course of action here. If there is any more information I can give that can allow you to make a better suggestion, let me know.

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
My suggestion remains the same.
Exam
EKG
Ibuprofen.
Hot or cold applications, which ever works best.

An ekg that is routine, is not the same as an EKG done during pain.
So I would have a repeat.

Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Right, but it's 9pm where I am now so I don't think I can get an exam without going to the emergency room. Is that what you are suggesting?

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
Yes
Without being able to give you an exam I have to recommend urgent care or the ER, for an exam and EKG.
During pain is more useful.

It is very unlikely that this is heart.

But I must caution you to err on the side of safety.

Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Isn't that a bit drastic? I'm only 21, I have no family history, I just had my blood pressure taken four hours ago, and no other symptoms are present. I understand that you guys have a liability use if I croak, but should I really be going to the ER for a little arm pain?


 


I know you can't see me in person and that you cannot verify if what I am saying is true. But assuming all that have told you is correct, then in that situation would you say that I should go to the hospital?

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
Yes, even if you were in my practice and you called at 9 PM and said you had new left arm pain, I would want you assessed, at least a basic exam and EKG.
If it were an old symptom, or if I new you got pain with anxiety and /or panic disorder, then that would be a different issue.

Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I do have OCD and health anxiety, for which I am on medication for. And if it goes away, should I still go to the hospital or can in wait in that case?

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
It is up to you.
With health anxiety it is even more unlikely that there is a problem.

It is really not our place to make a diagnosis, but to answer questions.


Is it at all likely this is heart? NO. 99 plus %, not 100%.

It is not likely a serious disc problem, or you would have arm weakness.


So there is a 99% chance, plus, that the ER would be a waste of time.

Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I can live with 99%+.

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 10 months ago.
Anytime.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
Please don’t forget a positive rating.
Dr. Thomas, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 56053
Experience: Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, also Integrative, CAM, etc
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