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Experiencing pain in upper arm. No tingling in finger. Worried for blood clot or tumor

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 341 Questions
I have experienced intermittent right upper inner arm constriction since January. The aching sensation is similar to having an inflated BP cuff around my arm. It can be very uncomfortable, but diasspears for days at a time. I am a 48 year old woman, relatively fit and healthy. I have full movement in the limb. The diameter of bother upper arms is similar. There is no discolouration over the area of constriction, or at the fingers. No tingling in fingers. No period if he day when particularly worse. Spend too long in front of a PC, but I am left handed. My BP is on the low side of average for my age. I have an old RSI muscular problem in my right shoulder- intense burning sensation when spend too long in front of PC. This flares intermittently- I don't think they are connected, but could they be? Tonight both areas are aching badly after long PC sessions over many days/ nights, which has got me wondering. it has worsened over past few days.
It seems too trivial to trouble my GP, but the longer this upper arm ache drags on the more concerned I get. I'm scared its a blood clot or a tumour- I have had a good feel around a few times now, and all seems normal. Any ideas please?
Posted Fri, 10 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sunil 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

As you have history of RSI in shoulder and work for longer duration on PC, it is quite possible you are having Repetitive Strain Injury in upper arm too. Both problems in shoulder and arm can be related and may be originating from same source of injury. Symptoms are unlikely originating from blood clot or tumor.
If you are experiencing frequent pain and discomfort in muscles of arm and shoulder, it is time to try to relieve them which can be done by massage, icing and rest. Consult your doctor or a trained physiotherapist to find out the best techniques which may include ultrasound.

It is also time to re-assess your typing technique otherwise you may be placing yourself at more risk and muscles may get fatigued and damaged that are difficult to recover. Avoid over use of these muscles.

Anti-inflammatory drugs have usually been recommended although recent studies suggest that simple painkillers such as paracetamol work just as well. Other medication you may be offered includes muscle relaxant tablets and a low dose of a certain type of antidepressant (tricyclic). Some people find relaxation techniques, and regular general exercise (such as swimming) to be useful in easing the symptoms.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further question I will be happy to help.

Wish you good health.

Dr Sunil
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