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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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I am getting a slight pain in my left arm when I eat. The pain

Resolved Question:

I am getting a slight pain in my left arm when I eat. The pain goes down the left arm to the middle two fingers. I do not have any chest pain, and seems brought on by swallowing food/drinks
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Where does this pain seem to start - your neck, or your shoulder?

How long have you had this pain?

And can you make the pain come back by tilting your head toward your left shoulder, and then pressing down on the top of your head?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have had the pain a couple of days, but again predominent when eating (swallowing) or drinking. I can recreate the pain slightly by tilting my head and pressing. I also get the pain when burping after eating.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.

The pain you are describing, and the fact that you can recreate that with the head tilting maneuver (Spurling's sign) is characteristic of nerve related pain due to a bulging disc in the neck "pinching a nerve".

Specifically, the nerve pain you describe is the C7 nerve, or the seventh cervical nerve, which can come from irritation of the nerve from a C6-7 herniated disc.

Given this fact, most of the "pinched" nerve type pains do get better on their own, over the next few weeks, as the nerve is irritated and inflammed at this point.

However, as with all left arm pain (which can come from cardiac/heart related causes) it is best to have a doctor examine you to ensure that this is not heart related -- once a heart related cause for the left arm pain has been ruled out, the nerve "pinch" becomes the most likely cause.
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