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Have pain in armpit and tricep area with pinched nerve between shoulder blades. Mammogram normal. Cause?

Jul 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
I have pain in my right armpit and tricep area when I bend elbow and lift arm up from side and raise arm above head and cross over to left side. I use an iPad a lot and I am right handed. It feels like I am pulling or straining a muscle or tendon. I have had this for a couple of months now. YAlso have a pain like pinched nerve between shoulder blades some times. I sleep on my right side and it hurts often. I had a mammogram and everything looked good. I also have gone to a chiropractor three or four times. It feels better after he stretches and works on it but doesnt last. My email address is YYYY@YYYY
Posted Sat, 7 Sep 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
It could be muscle or tendon related pain.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

As your pain is related to the movements of the arm, it could be originating from muscles or tendons.

Also, as it is recurring again after physical therapy, I suspect that you could be suffering from some form of REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY (RSI). As the name suggests, RSI is caused by repetitive use of certain parts of the body and it commonly involves the upper limbs and arms more frequently.

It is typically related to either occupation (Job) or some kind of regular leisure activity (in your case, using an ipad or sleeping on the right side).

It has been proclaimed by many authors that RSI is usually the result of performing repetitive tasks, maintaining the body in constant awkward or abnormal positions, mechanical compression of the involved body parts towards hard sufaces like walls, chairs, tables etc.

The main stay of treating this condition will be giving up the repetitive movements that cause or produce pain.

The general guidelines of treatment of this condition involves

* Rest to the involved areas and not indulging in activities that put additional strain on them
* Ice packing for 10-15 minutes, once in every 3 hours
* Moist heat fomentation of the affected parts
* Analgesics or Muscle relaxants as needed
* Physiotherapy for stretching & strengthening of the soft tissues.
* An ocassional steroid injection into the inflammed area may provide significant pain relief.

Hope I have addressed your query. I welcome any more clarification.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have pain in armpit and tricep area with pinched nerve between shoulder blades. Mammogram normal. Cause? 57 minutes later
The arm also hurts when pick up grand babies, lay their head in my arms (but hurts in bicep area then), and when turning steering wheel to the left. I had a compound fracture in 1974 and had a plate put in along my humerus but it has been taken out. Have a lot of muscle damage though. It has never bothered me though all of these years. Could the muscle damage be giving me trouble now? My shoulder pops at times when I turn arm in circle or lift out to side.
Should it take months to heal? I was concerned it might be bone cancer but have no lumps or constant pain. Pain only with movement of arm.
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 14 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You need a detailed evaluation to define the cause

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for getting back.

The pain in your arm could be attributed to the muscle wastage or damage that might have occured secondary to your compound injury of arm along with Humerus plating & removal.

The popping of the shoulder may be due to laxity in the soft tissues around the shoulder joint. A clinical examination & an MRI scan of your shoulder will diagnose your problem.

Generally,Pain arising out of bone tumours will not be related to movements of the arm and usually CONSTANT ache or pain will be the presenting symptom.

Anyway, MRI scan of the shoulder and arm will establish the diagnosis.

Have a great day.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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