What Else Could Cause My Arm Pain
When your arm or is painful, it is most often due to a condition that is not as serious as a heart attack. Common causes of arm pain include:
Arm or shoulder muscle stress or due to over exercising and activities, such as sleeping in an awkward position
bone due to an injury
, inflammation of a bursa sac that cushions a joint
, a disorder that causes long-term tender spots and in the shoulders and other areas of the body
Injury to the neck or shoulder, which can cause pain to spread down the arm
, wear and tear of the joints in the arm and shoulder
, irritation of a tendon from strain or overuse such as in
What Causes Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions that cause inflammation, infection, nerve compression, or injury of the shoulder. Common causes of shoulder pain include arthritis and injury caused by excessive, repetitive, or overhead motions that involve the shoulder, such as occurs with baseball pitching or construction work.
A common cause of shoulder pain is a tear of the rotator cuff, the muscles and tendons that hold the arm bone in place in the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff also enables the arms range of motion. A torn rotator cuff results in shoulder pain or weakness when you move your arm.
Shoulder pain can also be caused by diseases or conditions of the body outside the shoulder area, such as heart attack or gallbladder disease. This is called referred shoulder pain.
Are My Headaches Caused By Shoulder Pain
If youve ever suffered from the debilitating effects of headaches accompanied by neck and shoulder pain, you know firsthand just how important it is to identify the cause of the problem and do everything you can to remedy or prevent it.
There are a multitude of causes contributing to headaches and neck pain ranging from overuse or injury of the delicate soft tissue of the neck region to more generalized factors such as occupational, physical, or emotional stress.; A long list of other causes can lead to this widespread condition, as well.; Recent research suggests that frequently, the causative factors of some headaches are multilayered and not simply the result of one specific reason.
Pain is often a warning sign from your body and serves the purpose of getting your brains attention. For this reason, acute and chronic pain resulting from headaches and neck pain should be taken seriously.; It is always a good idea to consult your primary health care provider and make a concentrated effort to determine the cause of your specific condition.; It is often necessary to seek help from a specialist who deals specifically with the type of headache that you are experiencing.
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What Causes A Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve affecting the shoulder happens due to several reasons:
A trauma, inflammation, or infection in the nerves of the brachial plexus causes brachial plexopathy. Abrachial plexus is a group of nerves that originate from the neck or the cervical spine and upper back orthoracic spine. The branches of the brachial plexus supply nerves to most of the shoulder muscles. Thiscondition is commonly seen in those involved in vigorous physical activities like weightlifting,gymnastics, and wrestling. Pain experienced because of injury to the brachial plexus may beexperienced as sharp, stabbing, or throbbing pain.
A spinal disc herniation or bone spur in the neck can compress, pinch, or irritate the nerves of thecervical spine causing cervical pinched nerve also referred to as cervical radiculopathy. Cervicalradiculopathy or pinched nerve is experienced as radiating arm and shoulder pain or numbness. Thecondition is more prevalent with increasing age, with the age group between 50-54 being at highestrisk as per a study by the American Family Physician Journal. The study also reported that it is prevalentamong men compared to women.
Trauma or injury
Direct trauma to the shoulder due to a fall or accident may also compress, irritate, or pinch theshoulder nerves causing pain, numbness, weakness, tingling, or shock-like sensation.
Why Are Arm Pain And Heart Attack Connected
Most often a heart attack occurs when a obstructs blood flow into your heart muscle . This commonly causes a cramping or squeezing pain in the center or right side of your chest. Heart attack symptoms are extremely variable, but sometimes the pain in your chest extends to one or both shoulders and arms.
In addition to shoulder and , you may also have , aching or discomfort in other areas of your upper body, such as your neck, jaw or back, without any chest pain. This happens more commonly in women than in men.
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Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation
A physical therapy and rehabilitation program usually involves exercises to stretch and gradually strengthen the shoulder. Some physical therapists may use other techniques, such as massage or ultrasound, to relieve pain and reduce muscle spasms.
This program of treatment may be used without surgery or as part of recovery after surgery. It can reduce pain in the soft tissues , improve function, and build muscle strength.
Common difficulties with rehab programs include:
- Impatience during the long periods of rest needed to let your shoulder heal. Athletes and people whose jobs depend upon the use of their arms may find it hard to be patient with this stage of treatment.
- Not doing exercises as often as prescribed.
- Using incorrect technique when doing exercises.
Although completing a rehab program may be hard, a successful outcome after surgery depends on your commitment to treatment. If you follow your physical therapy plan closely and get help when you need it, you are more likely to restore shoulder strength and movement.
Exercises for rotator cuff disorders include:
What Upper Back And Chest Pain Feel Like
Upper back and chest pain may begin gradually and worsen over a long period of time, or it can start suddenly without explanation or after an injury. This pain is typically felt more on one side of the spine, but it can be felt on both sides. People with upper back and chest pain usually have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Dull achiness that is felt in the upper back and chest, perhaps just on one side, and/or possibly extending into the shoulder area
- Burning, sharp, or electric-like pain that may worsen with movement, possibly radiating pain along a rib from the upper back to the chest area
- Stiffness in the shoulder, chest, and/or upper back due to pain or muscle tightness, which can reduce the ability to perform basic tasks, such as getting dressed or driving
- Pressure or fullness in the chest rather than pain1
- Increased pain while breathing or trouble taking full breaths
- Trigger points in the upper back and/or chest that feel tender, sore, or tight, and can flare up and spread pain to nearby areas when touched
- Pins-and-needles tingling or numbness that might be felt along the rib or across a bigger area, possibly more in the chest or back
- Pain that spreads into the neck and/or arm, which can range from dull to sharp, and could be accompanied by tingling, numbness, and/or weakness
- Rib pain that travels along the rib or possibly between ribs
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How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Muscular And What To Do About It
Not all chest pains are necessarily symptoms of a heart attack. While painful, some may have simpler and less serious explanations.
Muscular pain in the chest can mimic serious conditions like a heart attack or lung problems. Even a broken rib can cause chest pain.
However, chest pain from a pulled muscle doesnt necessarily warrant a trip to the emergency room. Learn how to tell if chest pain is muscular and when to call your doctor. The good news is that you may be able to take care of it on your own.
What About Surgery For Angina
Like angioplasty, surgery is an option for people whose angina does not improve with medications and others who are at high risk of having a heart attack. Surgery is usually reserved for people with very severe narrowing or blockage in several coronary arteries.
In almost all cases, the operation used for severely narrowed coronary arteries is coronary artery bypass grafting.
Coronary artery bypass surgery
- The chest and rib cage are opened up
- The narrowed part of the artery is bypassed by a piece of vein removed from the leg, or with a piece of artery behind the sternum , or a portion of the radial artery taken from the lower arm or forearm.
- Several arteries can be bypassed in one operation.
- This is a very safe operation, with a mortality rate of less than 1%, in people whose heart muscle is not severely damaged irreversibly and who have normal lungs, kidneys, liver, and other organs.
- Because the chest is opened, the recovery time can be quite long, especially if the person is older and has multiple other health problems.
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When To See A Doctor
- Book appointment with a doctor if
- You have severe chest pain that radiates to shoulder
- You have difficulty breathing
- You have a feeling of nausea and vomiting
- You have a history of shoulder pain and heart disease
- You have shoulder pain along with chest tightness and shoulder pain and chest discomfort
- Any other symptoms that are the cause of your concern
Many people ask can shoulder pain causes chest pain. It may be possible. However, it is more important to identify the cause of simultaneous shoulder and chest pain.
Getting A Diagnosis For Upper Back And Chest Pain
Any sudden onset of unexplained chest pain that lingers needs to be evaluated by a doctor. When evaluating upper back and chest pain, a doctor typically aims to rule out cardiac causes before checking other potential causes, such as an injury to the muscles, ribs, or spine.
A trained medical professional can accurately diagnose the cause of upper back and chest pain. Once an accurate diagnosis is found, an effective treatment plan can begin.
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What Is Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is usually felt in the front of the shoulder, or at the top of the arm. Often, the pain is only felt when you move your arm in a certain way.
The pain may be deep and sharp, or there may be numbness, tingling or pins and needles. It may radiate down into the arm or up into the head, or there may be pain between the shoulder blades. Sometimes the pain may be caused by problems in the neck or spine, rather than the shoulder.
How Can I Care For My Rotator Cuff Tendinitis At Home
- Rest as directed. Limit activity on your affected shoulder to decrease stress on the tendon. This may help prevent further damage, decrease pain, and promote healing.
- Apply ice on your shoulder area. Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- Keep your shoulder in the correct position so it will heal faster. This may be done by increasing the height of armrests while you work, drive, and sit. Try not to sleep on the side of your injured shoulder. If you are a woman, wear a sports bra so that the straps are closer to your neck. This may help decrease stress in the affected shoulder.
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Shoulder Pain Causes And Risk Factors
Common shoulder injuries
Other causes of shoulder pain
Osteoarthritis. Also called degenerative joint disease, this is the most common form of arthritis. It can affect any joint, including your shoulders. The cartilage between bones breaks down, and they rub together. This can cause pain and stiffness.
Tendinitis. This is when the tendons that make up your rotator cuff get inflamed. It can happen slowly over time or as the result of a fall or a direct hit to your shoulder.
Bone spurs. Also known as âosteophytes,â these small, smooth pieces of bone rub up against and wear on your rotator cuff and keep your shoulder from moving the way it should. They can lead to tendinitis or a rotator cuff tear.
Questions For Diagnosing The Cause Of Shoulder Pain
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your shoulder pain. Providing complete answers to these questions will help your health care provider determine the cause of your shoulder pain. Questions include:
- In what part of the shoulder do you feel pain?
- When did the shoulder pain start?
- How long does the shoulder pain last?
- Are there any activities that cause the shoulder pain?
- Are you experiencing any other symptoms?
- Have you had any trauma to the shoulder?
What Causes Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
The tendon can become trapped by your arm bone when you lift your arm. Heavy lifting or throwing can cause overuse or an injury. This may happen if you play a sport such as baseball or tennis. A fall or other shoulder injury may also damage your rotator cuff. Calcium deposits may form in the tendons. This causes inflammation and swelling.
Symptoms Of Collarbone Pain
Believe it or not, the collarbone is the most commonly broken bone in the body. Also known as the clavicle, the collarbone is the relatively straight bone that runs horizontally from the top of your sternum to your shoulder. It provides stability and protection for the delicate structures underneath. Many of the muscles that allow you to move your arm attach to bony structures around the collarbone, and nerves and blood vessels run deep around the bone as well. Pain in this region can be from an injury of the collarbone itself or from irritation of the structures that surround it. However, there are some conditions that may mimic shoulder pain but are due to a different, serious issue.
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When To Be Concerned
It can take some time for shoulder pain to settle, perhaps weeks or months. In general if the shoulder pain has not begun to settle in a week or two then it would be worthwhile seeing an experienced doctor or health practitioner. Worsening pain over time should also be assessed by a doctor.
If you find that stronger opioid medication is needed to manage your shoulder pain, discuss this with your doctor. You may need a referral to a specialist and/or further investigations.
Note: Its important to note that shoulder pain or discomfort around the front of one or both of the shoulders can be a sign of a heart attack. Its often described as an ache, heaviness or pressure sensation spreading from the chest to the shoulders. This requires immediate medical attention. Call 000 immediately if you are experiencing these symptoms.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Shoulder Pain
Complications associated with shoulder pain and its underlying cause can be progressive. In some cases, shoulder pain may become a chronic condition and affect your daily life. Once the underlying cause is determined, following the treatment plan outlined by your doctor can help reduce any potential complications including:
- Absenteeism from work or school
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What Can I Do To Help My Recovery
To reduce the risk of developing a chest infection there are several things you can do.
Potentially Dangerous Sources Of Shoulder Pain
These four situations should not be overlooked as they can be life threatening.
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in your lungs. It can feel like a pulled muscle in your shoulder, but will suddenly escalates to severe pain that worsens when you lie down. This can cause damage to your lungs and needs immediate attention.; Seek emergent care of you notice these symptoms.
A heart attack can show up as pain in your shoulder, your arms, legs, and back. Shoulder pain is one of the many signs of a heart attack and is particularly common in women. Combined with fatigue, indigestion, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness, this shoulder pain is a warning sign to seek medical care as soon as possible. Pain in the chest is the most frequent symptom, but is not always present when a woman is having a heart attack.
Subarachnoid hemorrhaging is another serious condition with shoulder pain as one of its symptoms in addition to numbness, vision issues, confusion, and a sudden crippling headache. With this condition there is hemorrhaging between the brain and its protective tissue. If you experience these symptoms, go to the nearest emergency room to prevent brain damage and to protect your life.
No matter what the cause, you should see Keith Clinic for treatment with any unexplained or serious shoulder pain. Call a Keith Clinic location or request an appointment online to schedule an appointment!
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