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Having pain in arm. Taking advil. Should I see a doctor?

Jul 2013
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
my girlfriend has a sharp pain in her right arm. doesn't appear to be a muscle problem. Just sharp pain. Taken 2 advil but pain persist. should I get her to a doctor immediately ?
Posted Tue, 22 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 37 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It's better to consult a doctor.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

There are numerous causes for pain in the Arm. Generally, sharp pain usually arises either due to a muscle spasm/ tendinitis or due to a nerve irritation.

A few questions are to be answered regarding the symptoms to come to a possible diagnosis -
- Onset of pain -sudden or gradual
- duration of pain
- Exact location of pain
- Any history of strain or injury
- Nature of pain -stinging, burning, throbbing etc
- Severity of pain - mild, moderate or severe
- Aggravating & relieving factors if any

The general treatment guidelines include RICE (Rest, Icing, Compression & Elevation) regime.
- Rest the painful area . Avoid activity for the first 48 to 72 hours.
- Ice packing the painful area for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury. Apply ice wrapped in a damp towel to the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours during the day
- Use an elastic compression bandage around the injured area to limit any swelling and movement that could damage it further. It should be wrapped snugly around the affected area but not so tightly that it restricts blood flow.
- Keep the inflamed area raised and supported on a pillow to help reduce swelling, if present
- Gentle massage of a pain killer cream over the involved area will be helpful.

If you are worried and concerned, consult an orthopedic surgeon for a detailed examination and further management.

Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further

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