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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What causes severe pain in the right shoulder radiating to the arm?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16757 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: Good afternoon, My name is XXXX. I am having severe pain in the right shoulder, radiating down the inside of my arm and into my hand. My hand in numb and tingling, especially the middle finger.It's like I was plugging in a lamp and touched the prongs of the lamp. There is also some swelling in my hand in the mornings which seems to go down as the day progresses.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
peripheral neuropathy may be causing numbness and tingling

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

The altered sensations (numbness and tingling and any other abnormal feelings) would likely be due to peripheral neuropathy.
Pain can also be of neurological origin but your pain may be neurological and due to the shoulder joint itself.

Peripheral neuropathy refers to abnormal function of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.
This can be temporary or permanent and there are different possible causes.

Causes include: (1) vitamin b12 and folate deficiency
(2)diabetes
(4)exposure to toxins
(5)hormonal conditions, some autoimmune disease such as lupus, RA
(6)side effect of medication

Trauma is also a cause and may be the cause for you. This means that it is possible that a nerve may be affected at the shoulder point, conditions such as osteoarthritis or other forms of arthritis can compress or affect nerves in this area.
Arthritis is associated with inflammation which would cause swelling that you are noticing.

Your doctor may likely suggest imaging of the shoulder, neck and elbows (normally imaging the joint above and below the affected joint)

Blood tests to rule out autoimmune causes such as RA.

Pain medication would be given. There are also medications for nerve related symptoms that may also be prescribed as well

Physiotherapy of the affected areas may also be suggested depending on the findings.

I hope this helps , feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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