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Pain in left arm,cramps.difficult movement of arm.

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3397 Questions
My 2 year old daughter has maybe 3 times in the last 6 weeks complained of arm pain in her left arm. I have witnessed this and have no idea what brings it on. Sometimes it's gone in a few minutes and sometimes for hours. I keep thinking it might be some type of cramp as she really nurses the arm and will not raise it up. She absolutely refuses to use it while this is happening. Any thoughts?
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 3 hours later

I would be able to opine better if you can provide me some more details on the problem the kid has like :

1) Does she complain about the pain in early mornings ?

2) Do you notice any swelling in the arm when she has the pain ?

3) Do you see any color change in the skin over the arm ?

4) Please do mention any other associated symptoms with the arm pain , if any ?

5) Have you tried any medication , if so what is the response ?

Anticipating your reply.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pain in left arm,cramps.difficult movement of arm. 15 hours later

She has not had any pain in the mornings. There is no swelling and no color changes. I have not given her any medication except for Tylenol at bedtime once when she had the pain still at bedtime. She could not sleep on it but by morning it was gone. I keep thinking it's a cramp, but it's always the same arm. When this comes on it is immediate and she will hold her arm out a bit and completely not use or let anyone near it until it stops. If I try to force her arm up (like when changing her shirt) she will scream in pain. Seems very strange. I'm hoping that it comes on at a time when I can call and take her in when she still has it.

To answer your question though, there is no external indications of the pain in the arm.

Thank You,
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 14 hours later

Thanks for the reply.

After going through the description provided by you, I am of the opinion that it could most probably be a Neuropathy caused due to nerve compression in the arm leading to pain which gets relieved after the compression is reduced.

It might present after a physical activity like a movement of the arm which can lead to compression of a nerve. It would be better to get examined and evaluated by an Orthopedician to know the exact cause of the compression. Few tests for nerve function would be required like electromyelogram, and some tests to rule out if any systemic causes are involved like Diabetes or Hypothyroidism.

The treatment commonly followed would be conservative like physical exercises and functional management and also to treat the systemic causes if any. Surgical treatment to decompress the nerve is also an option available which would be decided by the Orthopedician accordingly.

Hope this answers your query. In case of any doubts I am available for the follow ups.

Wish your daughter a speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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