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Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4099
Experience:  MBBS,DTM&H( Univ of Liverpool),34yrs experience in practice
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Throbbing pain in upper left arm. What can cause this?

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I have a slow pulsating pain in my upper left arm on the outside, as opposed to the armpit area. The pain lasts no more than a second or two, but also has some tingling down the arm, but that is not significant. Today is the first time it has happened. Sometime there is a decent amount of pain and sometimes it's very minor. Otherwise, I feel alright. Thanks, Gary

Pain on the lateral aspect of the arm may occur due to referred pain from the shoulder joint,due to rotator cuff trauma and tears,due to Impingement Syndrome,Radiculitis due to cervical spinal root nerve compression,Myocardial ischaemia, Neuropathic pain due to brachialgia or compression of nerves in the brachial plexus,secondary to lifting heavy objects or overuse of the muscles of the arm and lastly secondary to anxiety and stress. Such pain may occur due to abnormal posture of the arm .A trial of analgesics like naproxen /ibubrufen and muscle relaxants like Robinax may help.If the symptoms persist or increase over time,you will need to see your PCP as there may be a potentially serious cardiac cause which refers the pain to this area. Bursitis or tendonitis from the shoulder joint.Osteoarthritis,arthritis or Gout affecting the joint is another condition with such pain.Rotator cuff injuries and tears may also cause such pain.Trapping of the rotator cuff tendons inthe shoulder joint will give rise to Impingement Syndrome which may cause such pain.Cervical intervertebral disc prolapse/degeneration may also cause such symptoms.You may need a X-ray study of the shoulder joint with CT/MRI of the cervical spine and shoulder joint,blood tests to check for arthritis and gout.The treatment will depend on the cause of the disease. Since the problem at this stage is minor,rest to the arm and use of analgesics and muscle relaxants may be of use.If symptoms persist,you can see your PCP/GP who can guide you further.

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