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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for pain and swelling in arm

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 4486 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 7 Jun 2016 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have for 20 years had some pain and swelling in my right arm following repetitive movements, such as painting (one example). I picked up the hobby of crochet two years ago. Sometimes my hand and arm would ache a bit and the veins would get bluer and protrude a bit, but after resting it would go away. Recently I pushed through some pain to complete a crochet project. The veins began to protrude. That afternoon I sustained a blow to my right shoulder, on the edge near the rotator cuff, when a hand truck dolly fell and its blade struck my shoulder. It bruised but did not break the skin. My whole arm and hand ached for a week. The veins protruded like cords, and it has been 3 weeks now since I've crocheted. I wake up at night with my entire arm numb and aching. The forearm aches sometimes all day long. Soaking in hot epsom salt water has had the biggest positive effect in reducing the vein swelling and blueness as well as relieving the aching. However, the pain returns, localized in the elbow and radiating into the forearm. I've tried heating pad with little positive result. I don't know if I am sleeping on my arm to make it numb, but numb, aching arm is happening most nights now. Your recommendations?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
It can be cervical spondylitis with nerve compression

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
I have studied your case and i think you are having cervical spondylitis with nerve compression. Pain due to shoulder or cuff problem usually nerve radiate below elbow. Also as you are having numbness and parasthesia so that also goes in favour of nerve pain. I have following suggestions for you.
1.Get x ray of neck to see if there is bony changes in spine. There is reduction in joint space and it causes nerve compression.
2.Avoid sleeping with a very large pillow. Try to use a roll so that neck does not remain too flex in night.
3.Physiotherapy in form of intermittent cervical traction exercises.
4.Tablet Pregabalin M at night time.
I hope these steps will be helpful for you.Let me know if there is any other followup questions.
thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Sonia Raina
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma 4 hours later
I am confused how my neck or shoulder is causing the veins in my forearm especially and even my upper arm to protrude like cords, be dark blue, and cause some swelling and pain in my forearm.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Veins can look prominent due to high blood pressure

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Prominent veins are not a diease as they can be seen in young fit athletes also . As you are saying that your veins become prominent when you work hard and then disappear when you do some rest so it is reversible process.
In some people it can be due to high blood pressure. You can get your blood pressure check up. If there is high blood pressure then you need to take medication for that. But if your BP is normal then prominent veins are normal phenomena and you can ignore it.
For pain in shoulder I had advised you to take Pregabalin M at night time and physiotherapy. You can also wear soft cervical collar during day time.
Let me know if there is any other followup questions.
thanks

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma 45 minutes later
the veins are on the inside of my forearm and upper arm, and they nor the associated pain go away quickly. It has taken nearly three weeks since they appeared, and I have been careful not to overuse that arm/hand, and they are still not normal. The shoulder pain has subsided, but the forearm pain and swelling is still enough to interfere with normal activity and sleep.
Is it normal for veins to look varicose and to have forearm swelling with carpal tunnel, perhaps?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
this is not carpel tunnel

Detailed Answer:
hello,
Carpel tunnel can cause pain in hand but this pain does not radiates to forearm. So I do not think that this is carpel tunnel. Most probably this is nerve compression in neck and shoulder.
It is good that your pain is less now. if you follow above mentioned steps then it will be cured completely.
Varicose vain as I told you earlier is not a problem in forearm. There is no treatment require. And they are not due to carpel tunnel or nerve compression.They are very common at your age and mostly due to weak heart and weak muscles. Just make sure that you are not having high blood pressure.
thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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