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What causes swelling, stiffness, tingling, numbness and pain in the arm?

Jan 2014
User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 7513 Questions
Yesterday after working in the yard my right hand started feeling stiff and gradually I had trouble making a fist. Then It was slightly swollen, achy and tingling with numbness. I thought maybe I got bite by tick or got into something and was having a reaction
Now The aching has moved up to elbow and arm.
As far as I know I didn't injure it although I was pulling plants and pruning so I thought I may have some repetitive strain.
Otherwise I feel fine; no fever ,no chest pains, no headache. Just numbness, aching and swelling in hand and arm.
I have taken Motrin, iced, heated, stretched, massaged it and then took 1/2 a pain pill in the middle of the night all with just slight relief.
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Possibility of Cellulitis need to be considered

Detailed Answer:
Hello. thank you.
I am Dr. kakkar (Dermatologist and Venerelogist). I have noted your concern.

Perhaps it is a skin and soft tissue infection - cellulitis. Swelling and pain/ aching of the hand which has now moved upward to involve the arm is suggestive of Cellulitis therefore I would like to rule out this possibility. Minor break in the skin during gardening might provide a portal of entry for the microbes and cause cellulitis.. I request you to kindly get it checked from your general practitioner. If it is indeed cellulitis then you might require a course of an oral antibiotics.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes swelling, stiffness, tingling, numbness and pain in the arm? 27 minutes later
I have no redness or open wound on hand or arm. Just ache, weakness and tingling. Pinched nerve?
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 13 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Take symptomatic treatment for a day

Detailed Answer:

I would still like to rule out cellulitis.
A minor unnoticed scratch (perhaps from a thorn or a stalk) can also serve as a portal of entry for the microbes. It doesn't have to be an open wound.
Unlikely that a pinched nerve would cause arm to swell.
Another possible cause could be that it is a sort of an irritant reaction to a plant or an insect bite reaction.
I suggest you to take symptomatic treatment e.g tab. ibuprofen for a day. In addition I suggest you to take an oral antihistamine e.g tab. cetrizine 10mg once a day.
However if it doesn't improve or progresses further you should visit your GP for an examination.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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