Toothache pain in arm and shoulder
Past three months every day I have a constant dull ache in my shoulder and in my left arm. Sometimes it varies to where it feels sometimes like it's in the top of my shoulder/collarbone to sometimes on top of my arm, sometimes it's around my elbow and can even go as far as my wrist especially when I'm driving.
It first happened when I was at work because I'm a nurse and my day to day involvement includes moving and handling, however even after taking 2 week off work to rest I'm still no better.
I cannot lay on my left arm as the ache gets more intense, when I stretch out my arm underneath feels a pulling sensation. I've have been to doctors 3 times and still not resolved this issue. First doctor said it was strain and to take anti inflammatory medication (doesn't help); the second doctor said it was a trapped nerve and prescribed me medication which hasn't released it and the third one now has referred me to physio which I'm so worried about as nobody has actually sent me for any tests or scans; just checked my range of movement in my arm which I have full range and checked for arm swelling which there isn't any. I'm only 23 I shouldn't be feeling like this for such a young age.
I'm reminded of a Punch cartoon showing four doctors standing around a hospital bed; one lifts his head and remarks, 'Well, we've narrowed it down to one of four things.'
Three months is certainly a long time to have no diagnosis; especially of a nurse; I'd assume they'd take special extra care of their own.
Katie, you make no mention of neck pain; if you turn your head to the left and simultaneously look up, does it provoke anything? This is called Spurling's test.
Do no movements of the arm and shoulder provoke the ache? Did any of your doctors take a reflex in the arm, or test for numbness? Prick you arm with a pin, and compare with the right arm.
The test for a pinched nerve in the neck is called the upper limb tension test; type that into the Site Search function at Chiropractic Help; you'll need a friend to do this test. Let me know the result.
Locate the radial pulse in your left wrist with your right hand; turn your head to the left, look up and take in a deep breath; does it change the pulse?
With your left elbow at your side, bent at 90*, press in and pull out against the resistance of your right hand; without moving the arm. Does it provoke pain? This is called an isometric test for a muscle tear, or tendonitis.
These are the kinds of tests that a chiropractor would do; they should be done first before expensive tests or x-rays requiring the use of ionising radiation. Let me have some answers.
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