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Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 35015
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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I have pain in my right upper arm, that is, between the

Customer Question

Hi Dr. Mark. I have pain in my right upper arm, that is, between the elbow and shoulder joint. This started as some pain when I lifted a heavy grocery bag and walked from the grocery store to our house about 15 minutes away by walking. The pain subsided with some rest, but I noticed that whenever I raises my arm or reaching up the cupboard, I can feel pain. I tried to rotate my arm and stretch it but there was pain like a nerve was being "pinched" and bringing my hand at my back like snapping the hook of my brassiere made it so painful. what could this be? Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When I sleep and lie down, at first, the pain in my upper arm felt relieved as the pain subsides, but after sometime, pain slowly takes in and it feels sore and heavy. Whenever I change position while lying in bed, there was so much pain.
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 2 years ago.
I am Dr. Arun and will be helping you today.
I am sorry that your question was unanswered for long.
The causes of consideration would be;
1) Bicipital tendinitis
2) Frozen shoulder
3) Biceps rupture
4) Brachial neuritis
5) Rotator cuff disease
6) Cervical radiculopathy
7) Cervical spondylosis
8) Suprascapular neuropathy
This seems to be rotator cuff injury or shoulder bursitis. You would need x-ray and MRI of shoulder and neck (to rule out the pinched nerve in neck). But the pain during movement and short term relief during lying is more indicative of shoulder issue. Following measures would be helpful;
Majority of people with above problems will respond to physical therapy alone. The program should be daily and assisted by the physical therapist. The regimen consists of active and active-assistive range-of-motion exercises combined with stretching. Pain may occur early but within 2 to 3 weeks progress is usually made. Other treatment modalities such as heat and massage may help. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics may also be beneficial. Deep electrotherapy in the form of short wave diathermy, Interferential current, trans cutaneous electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, phonophoresis also are very helpful initially.
Please feel free for your follow up questions.
I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.
Thanks for using Just Answer.
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 2 years ago.
A pinched nerve in the nerve can be another issue but less likely for your manifestations. The causes of pinched nerve in neck are:
1) Herniated/degenerated disc in neck
2) Cervical spondylosis; bone spurs in the neck vertebrae pressing on the nerves.
To confirm it, following investigations would be necessary:
1) X-ray of the neck spine
2) MRI of the neck
3) Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study
4) Electromyography (EMG)
Following measures would be helpful;
1) Neck care in the activities of daily living.
a) No working on computer for more than half an hour in a single stretch. Same for TV.
b) Monitors and televisions exactly in front (180 degrees).
c) Contour pillow: Should fill the hollow when lying on back or straight. Available over the counter.
2) Cervical Collar or Brace
3) Cervical traction
4) Anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen
5) Some physicians do give oral steroids in severe radiculopathy cases, in whom pain / numbness / tingling is quite significant.
6) Physical therapy: gradually increasing exercises from passive stretching to active against resistance regime.
7) Electrotherapy in the form of TENS, interferential and laser and ultrasound.
8) Hot fomentation
9) Local analgesic patch / ointment / spray
Please let me know if you have further queries or unanswered questions.
Please consider a positive rating if this interaction has been satisfactory, as this is the only way we experts are credited and compensated for the time and work. You are not charged again for giving a rating.
Thank you.
Wishing you all the very best in life.
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer completely your Question. Please make sure to rate me because that is how I am credited for my work.
Now, I will provide an Additional Service offer so that you have this option available on your question list to get a hold of me directly in the future.
This additional service offer can be used for
- if you would like to schedule a new, private email session or to ask me directly a new question. It's up to you.
Thank you.

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