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How is left arm pain treated in pregnant women ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I am having pain in my left arm, sometimes it feels like a shooting pain, just a little bit concerned
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 20 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.

I will try to provide you with some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

Pain in the upper extremities can reflect a variety of illnesses. Regarding the left arm. We certainly always think of the possibility that it could be related to the heart. In a very young female such as yourself. This would be extremely unlikely.

The most likely cause of left arm pain in your case would most likely be something like a pinched nerve or possibly inflammation in the shoulder. If you can think of any situation within the last one or two weeks where you were pushing pulling lifting or throwing any type of object this could have contributed to an inflammatory type of syndrome or possibly to a syndrome which led to a pinching of a nerve in the shoulder or upper extremity.

Cardiac pain which affects the shoulder or arm would also cause pain such as crushing chest pain as well as pain which radiates up into the jaw associated with physical activity. Again this would be extremely unlikely in your case.

I would recommend at this point that you try a regimen of anti-inflammatory medications. Specifically I usually recommend ibuprofen 600 mg or three tablets by mouth three times per day for five days. This should provide a sufficient period of anti-inflammation such that you would be able to see some improvement. If no improvement happens you might consider seeing your doctor for a focused physical examination. Sometimes physical therapy is necessary.

I really think that what is going on in your case is more than likely a musculoskeletal phenomenon. If you have any additional details that you would like to provide that might also help me make a decision in further recommendations.

I thank you again for submitting your question. If you have any additional follow up concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How is left arm pain treated in pregnant women ? 24 minutes later
thank you for your help, i was a little worried. but is it safe for me to take ibuprofen since i am pregnant?
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 13 hours later

Thanks for your followup.

I apologize as I did not recognize that you were pregnant. In place of Ibuprofen while pregnant I would use Tylenol. This may not work as well as Ibuprofen but is relatively more safe. I would use no more than 325 mg 4 times daily for a few days.

Also - do some range of motion exercises with your arm to maintain flexibility. Here is a link to a file that will show you some good exercises:

Thanks again for your query. I hope this serves to be helpful for you.


Dr. Galamaga.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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