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Neck and shoulder pain due to computer use - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Environmental and Occupational Hazards
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3631 Questions
User :   For the last week I've had a dull throbbing ache that runs from the side of my neck, down my shoulder to about my elbow... on the left side. If I lay on my left side the arm hurts worse. I work at a computer for many hours a day. I noticed it after holding a phone between my neck and shoulder (with my head) so I could type on a computer. It's gone on for a week now.                              
Doctor :   hi
User :   Hello
Doctor :   let me read your query
User :   I've been taking 4 advil a few times a day--which controls the pain. But I wanted to see what else I should do.
User :   I've searched the symptoms online and found everything from a pinched nerve, CTS to possible heart attack.
Doctor :   did you take any meicines for the pain relief ?
User :   Yes, I'm taking 4 advil a couple times a day
Doctor :   may i know your age and gender
User :   38-female
Doctor :   do you feel any pain or tirdness feeling in the neck
User :   My neck is stiff. I've been working long hours so my muscles are tighter than usual
Doctor :   ok
User :   But the neck isn't extreme.
User :   Mainly just the pain in my upper left arm that's a dull ache
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   from how long(in years)are you working in front of computer ?
User :   15+
Doctor :   did you had any low back issues in the past?
User :   I've had CTS symptoms before--as far as pain in wrists and hands but not now
User :   Yes, when I sit for long periods and don't move around my lower back aches.
Doctor :   ok
User :   Although I'm not really having that pain now
User :   When this pain for started it was all over my back, neck and shoulder. That was a week ago. It's subsided in my back and is fairly focused in my arm and shoulder now
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   you need to get an X-ray evulation of the neck
User :   Does this sound like anything heart related to you?
User :   That's my fear
Doctor :   the nerves of the arm and forearm do come from the neck and if pinched in that region it gives to such type of pain.
Doctor :   need not get afraid
Doctor :   there is treatment for pinched nerve
User :   Should I treat with heat or ice?
Doctor :   if you delay than nothing can be done at latter stage
Doctor :   no its exercise
Doctor :   physiotheraphy is what we call
User :   So movement is good?
Doctor :   of course movement is the treatment
User :   OK. I will look into that
Doctor :   first get an evaulation of the neck by the x - ray and get to know what is it ahd how much is the magnitude of the problem
User :   Could it be just a strain from holding the phone like I did? Because that's when it started.
Doctor :   than you can slowly start stretching and strengthning exercise of the neck
Doctor :   it is muscle strain only which is making neck bones to pinch the nerve
User :   If it were heart related would these be the symptoms? Or would there be more?
Doctor :   no it does has a different type of presentation
User :   OK. Then I'll get help with the muscle strain. THANKS
Doctor :   yes
Doctor :   thanks for consulting health care magic
Doctor :   bye for now
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