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    What causes pain in shoulder, elbow and bicep?

Posted on Tue, 31 May 2016 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Over this last weekend I woke up one morning with my right sternum hurting. I have problems with that shoulder and I occasionally get sternum pain from it after heavy days at work. I took some ibuprofen and the sternum pain went away and instead I had a pain in my right armpit, then throughout the day I a pain starter in the crook of my elbow and began spreading up my bicep. Later that night I noticed a red line going from the inside of my elbow, up my bicep and to my armpit. My boyfriend was worried that it was a staph infection but I didn't have any cuts or injuries to the area. It hurt for two days but the red line faded and pain subsided during the week. I am occasionally feeling a small pain in my armpit again today....but it is hardly anything. I should also mention that I have had a lump in my armpit a little bit bigger than a grape for about a decade. I asked my dr about it a long time ago and he thought it was a fatty cyst. Would that have anything to do with this and do I have anything to worry about?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:
The lump is not the pain reason.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for the query.

Shoulder pain, elbow and bicep pain are typical symptoms of muscles overload and some muscles/tendons inflammation (not infection). To determine what exactly is causing the problem (which muscle, spine) you should have physical examination performed by an orthopedist and shoulder ultrasound.
The red line which has subsided could be a vein inflammation. But usually this condition gives also swelling.
The lump in the armpit, if its lipoma, does not seem to be the case and does not cause any serious problems. Its just a benign tumor which is painless (correct me if I`m wrong).
Again, the only thing which can be caused by this lump is an inflammation, but every inflammation gives swelling as a main symptom.
So in my opinion there is no reason to be worried.

However, if there was any swelling during the time you have had the pain and the red line, veins ultrasound us a good idea to rule out veins thrombosis.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 3 hours later
My chiropractor said that the top of my spine is slightly crooked so it pulls on my shoulder and pinches nerves. could that be causing it the inflammation of those muscles?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It can be the reason of shoulder pain.

Detailed Answer:
This does not cause inflammation, but can be the reason of your pain for sure. If so, you should also have kind of burning or tingling down the arm and hand. Headache and dizziness can appear as well.
In such case, spine MRI is the right test to determine the exact reason.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5768 Questions


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