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Second opinion] Yesterday I sneezed and heard a pop cracking…

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Second opinion] Yesterday I sneezed...
Second opinion] Yesterday I sneezed and heard a pop cracking noise. The sharp pain brought me to my knees and now I can’t lift my left arm or do really anything without pain there is a bulge on my left side and under my left breasT it looks like it’s caving in. A bit of history, I have lupus. I get about 3 flairs a year. But nothing like this has ever happened. I had the flu about 3 weeks ago.. had the lingering cough. The cough one morning started to make me feel tightness in my chest and severe pain whenever I did much of anything. Breathing deep, any exercise, picking up my daughter etc. I thought maybe pneumonia but with no other symptoms (I.e fever, chills, tiredness etc) it seemed unlikely. The cough is cleared up but still the pain was present. It was not completely debilitating but it does interfere with everyday activities. Then yesterday the sneeze and cracking pop and the bulge/swelling have left me unable to move my arm or do much of anything without pain..as morning has progressed I can’t even lift my arm up without extreme discomfort. It’s now shooting pain up my neck and down my arm.
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 3 days by:
3/23/2018
Doctor: PM&R Doc, Board Certified MD replied 28 days ago
PM&R Doc
PM&R Doc, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2
Experience: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist
Verified

Hi. Sorry that it looks like you had to wait so long for an answer. If you still need an answer I am happy to try to help. I am a board certified medical doctor who specializes in treating musculoskeletal and neurologic disorders. I treat this kind of pain on a daily basis and hopefully I can help you with this issue. For the most part it sounds as though you may be dealing with a muscle strain in the chest wall or even possibly a cracked rib. Given the reported pain in the arm and neck another possibility is that the pain could be coming from a pinched nerve in the cervical spine (the neck) due to a disc bulge. A cervical disc bulge has been known to happen following a sneeze. The one part that doesn't completely fit with a pinched nerve in the neck is the description of bulging in the side. I need a little more information before I can answer your question completely. Can you describe a little more for me where exactly the bulge is? Is it in the region of the rib cage? Is it really tender to the touch? Also, when you heard the popping or cracking noise did that seem to come from the neck or was that more in the region of the chest wall? Just a couple more background questions. Have you ever been on corticosteroids (for example prednisone) for your lupus? It's also important to know if you are having difficulty breathing? Any numbness or tingling in the arm or hand?

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