Pain deep in biceps muscle of arm and hurts to raise arm up

by Sue
(Pine Beach, NJ USA)

Evenings, I'm working on a large needlepoint project with a half frame, and after weeks of stitching on it, developed a pain deep in my biceps muscle in the arm that holds the frame, while I stitch with the other hand. I extend the hand/arm around the frame to hold the canvas tight, and guide the needle in. I also notice at the same time, I tip my head to view the canvas, to align the stitching.

Now I can hardly raise my arm...try throwing back the bed covers to get out of bed! Searing pain...Much worse in the morning, loosens up somewhat during the day, and is relieved by taking aspirin. Is this an overuse injury, from repeating an awkward position? or a structural injury? or something else? Any suggestions very welcomed! Sue

Dear Sue,
Thank you for your question. First take your temperature just to rule out a "medical condition", especially if you have pain at night. It's unlikely but never to be forgotten.

And, as with all conditions, should it not improve within a period of time, further examination, X-rays or an ultra sound scan would be sensible.

It certainly sounds like a muscular condition in the shoulder. Perhaps the biceps but it could be any of the rotator cuff muscles.

Perhaps start with our very simple "frozen shoulder" exercises. Type the term into the Search this Site function at C-H.

In all cases of arm pain, I believe it is important to evaluate the "inter scalene triangle" through which the nerves and artery to the arm pass.

I hope this has contributed.

Dr B

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