Arm pain

Does anyone know how to sort out whether arm pain is heart-related or caused by another problem?

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Well, can you tell weather or not it's muscular? I once had a pinched nerve, which caused arm pain and regular old physical therapy took care of that pinched nerve. Bursitis can cause arm pain, tendonitis can cause arm pain, etc.

It could definitely be heart related, but most likely related to another problem. If it were heart related, you would likely be experiencing other symptoms as well. But as always, check with your doctor.

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Oh and cajngrl, when you said you had a pinched nerve, where was it pinched? In the spine? In the shoulder? Never thought I'd want a pinched nerve but then maybe I do! I have a stress echo on Monday, so I guess I'll learn... Thx again.

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I saw my doctor and since I have good range of motion and no specific pain points on manipulation she thinks it's heart. The feeling is really similar to the pain I had with exercise (running) before I got two stents in 2010. But now it's persistent, worse some times than others, and I guess it could be "unstable" angina. I'd rather it wasn't. :)

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Keep an eye on it and if nothing else, go to the ER. Good luck on the stress echo Monday and please keep us posted.
Julie

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I realize that when arm or vack pain is heart related, the pain doesnt lessen with position change. Personal experience, my arm pain with my scad, it felt as if the blood supply to my arms was cut off and my elbows ached. It was a very weird feeling that just let me know somethingwas reallly wrong, same with the back pain. Usually if you manipulate your arm and it decrease or increase the pain, it is musco/skeletal

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Thanks, ymi2fast4u. I love your screen name. What you describe with SCAD is somewhat like what I'm experiencing but in just one arm. It kind of feels like when you bang your funny bone real hard-- tingling below the elbow and serious muscle soreness around and above it.
Julie, the doc said loud and clear not to wait out the weekend if it changes or gets worse. I have learned from everyone here that dismissing symptoms can literally be a killer, so I'll go to ER uncomplainingly if need be. I just want Monday to get here.

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When I am trying to distinguish my angina pain from muscular, I do some gentle stretching and range of motion, like what you described your doctor checking. This has helped me figure out sometimes I was having a muscular issue. Nerve pain can be a little more difficult to sort out. You are on the right track and I hope all goes well Monday.

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Do you by any chance use an iPad? After more than a year and a half of persistent annoying arm pain it occurred to me to google 'iPad body pain' and was intrigued to find a lot of forum posts about this. I have since solved the issue with a Peeramid Book Rest for my iPad and a Shiatsu Massage Chair Pad for my back/shoulder muscle tightness.

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Hi,
I to have arm pain but mine sounds different from yours . I get pain across my chest down my arm left side only when I walk and it stops when I stop. I do have heart disease and they did test and ruled out that nothing more is going on but my regular said it is too . So I am desperate to find help. Hope all is well with you. Good luck!
Chris

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I had mild persistant pain in my left arm around my wrist...thought I had strained it. Then a week later I had pain under my left arm which quickly progressed to SOB and angina.....off to the hospital and had triple bypass.

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Empress, thanks for the reminder that such pain COULD be functional symptoms from using iPads, laptops and other techie things. Brilliant!!

I'm always careful about using the word "pain" in describing cardiac symptoms, particularly in women. Many of us report symptoms that are NOT described as "pain". Heart attack-related arm symptoms COULD be painful, but they are often frequently described as: pins and needles, electrical shocks, buzzing, tingling, "funny feeling" but not necessarily PAIN in the way we imagine pain to feel.

Good luck at the doctor's, Jane.

XOXOXO

www.myheartsisters.org

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I've mentioned this before but I had a feeling of a pulled muscle upper arm in Jan 2010; this progressed to a frozen shoulder over the next couple of months. I could not get my arm behind my back or raise it very high. Since this happened to me in 2001 and I ended up with a stent (and my frozen shoulder went away), I asked for a stress test. This came back okay (turned out to be a false negative for heart issues again); so went ahead with shoulder surgery Aug 2010 which helped some but left me with a stiffness in that arm. By October 2010, I was having unstable angina, had MI Nov followed by bypass surgery. And then I noticed my frozen shoulder was no longer totally frozen. Now my cardio doc says if I get another frozen shoulder, we are going straight to the cath lab. I have never heard from anyone else having a frozen shoulder that was heart related. My shoulder blade on that side was stuck according to the folks at rehab. Amazing how things connect and cause problems in other parts of the body. You are smart to be checking all this out. Best wishes and best of luck in getting to the bottom of your problem! Barb

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Hi janeinred,
I had the exact arm pain you are describing...my right arm felt like I had hit my funny bone...the pain shot down my arm from the elbow to wrist, especially if I went to reach for something using that arm. This all happened a couple of months after my heart attack due to SCAD. My cardiologist did not think it was related to my heart, so he sent me to an arm/shoulder specialist. The doc there called it cubital bone syndrome (of the elbow, similar to what carpitunal syndrome is to the wrist). He made a splint that I wore at night for a month or so...it got a little bit better, but not completely. I was on a statin, Crestor, after my heart attack and I read where statins can cause muscle and nerve pain. With my docs blessing I went off the statin and the pain disappeared. So anyway....you might check into cubital bone syndrome or statins if you are on one! Good luck!
ake

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I was wondering if anyone had a coldness feeling-like cold water runing through your veins in your left arm from the elbow down and it was related to a heart issue??? I have had ongoing chest pains, nausea, back pains with every normal cardiac test...including cath in the past year but my symptoms have gotten worse. The arm tingling/cold feeling comes and goes but has been pretty consistent for about a week...any suggestions???

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I have the same thing! I am thinking it's the Lescol (statin). I don't believe it is heart related.
Jodi

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Arm pain was my first symptom. I was dx with severe coronary artery spasms that led to bypass surgery so don't ignore anything no matter how minor it seems.

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