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Does severe pain in the left arm require medical attention?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 1537 Questions
Hi, My 23 year daughter woke up in the night with her entire left arm in pain. It was a painful aching and throbbing. She sleeps on her back, had no extra activity or injury. Rather odd and concerning for a 23 year old to have such pain for no reason. Should I take her to the doctor? I would feel better if this pain was on her right side. She seems to think she had this once a few weeks or month ago, but not as severe.
Fri, 8 Jun 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Klarida Papaqako 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:
A possible pinched nerve.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for using HealthcareMagic.
I read it carefully and I understand your concern.

From what you are describing the pain seems like a pain from a pinched nerve. When the shoulder is in a particular position, or in some people who have thick muscles the nerve which has a thin canal gets pinched and causes a very severe pain and numbness.

Your daughter can take Tylenol 500-650mg 3 times/day after some food (as needed).
Also applying local analgesic can help, 3-4 times/day.

If she doesn't get better by using these or if worse, then I would recommend seeing an orthopedist who can examine her and determine which is the pinched nerve, maybe do an MRI to see which tissues are inflamed and so find exactly the cause of the pain.

I hope this is helpful.
Let me know if you have other questions or concerns.


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