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211940 tn?1267881266

Upper Arm Pain mid arm between the elbow and shoulder

I have been looking everywhere for an answer, maybe someone here can.

About 1 year ago I began having pain in my right upper arm, between the shoulder and elbow, about mid arm where the biceps brachii muscle or brachialis muscle is.
I went to my Primary Physician who said it was a torn brachialis muscle.  Since I was working at a 2nd job, I thought it might be job related so I went through the whole Workman's Comp issue.  They sent me to 4 doctors who did nothing for me, finally the case was settled and my lawyer got most of the money, but I still have the pain.  It is an extreme ache down to the bone, that is unbearable at night.  Even with pain medicine and sleep aides, I get about 2-3 hours a night.  Finally, I went back to my own doctor and asked if he could help me, he said yes.  He sent me for an MRI, and then to an Orthopedic Surgeon.  The Surgeon said the MRI revealed a cyst inside the humerus bone about 1 cm by 5 mm, that would have to be "watched" to see if it grows, if it does, it could weaken the bone, and the slightest mishap could break the bone.  However, he said it could NOT be causing me so much pain.  He checked out my arm and noticed a hard soft tissue knot, and suggested removing it through surgery and it "might" relieve my pain.  So, 3 weeks ago I had the said surgery and it was removed (a hard soft tissue mass about the size of a marble).  No, this was not the cyst inside my humerus bone.  Anyways, I still have the pain, and it is extremely terrible at night (on a scale of 1 to 10, a 20 at night).  I even have the same pain, in the same place, in my left arm, but to a much lesser degree (maybe a 5-7 at night, but bearable).  I have tried many unsuccessful web searches, trying to find something that might lead me to an answer for what this is, so here I am grasping at cyber straws.  I have this incredible pain, that is extremely painful at night, no idea what it is, therefore  no idea how to cure it.  Please, if you have any ideas of where to research, I am definitely open and also AWAKE.  Thank you for your time, consideration, and cooperation in this matter, I deeply appreciate it.
897 Responses
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Avatar universal
The problem may be that you and your doctor are focusing on the arm and not that shoulder. There is a condition called "frozen shoulder" or adhesive capsulitis, which feels exactly like what you describe. I have had it twice. It feels like it is in the arm, but it is actually caused by the shoulder. It is extremely painful and you will lose all use of that arm if you don't do some physical therapy with the shoulder to break up the adhesions there. Have you lost the range of movement in that arm? Unable to scratch your back like you can with the other arm? Lie on the floor and move your arm in a big circle like a hand on a clock. Does the shoulder catch or crunch? Are there some positions that hurt, especially with the arm over your head and close to the floor? It takes 1-3 years to heal. The longer you let it go the longer it will take. You have to do range of motion exercises to force your shoulder to break the adhesions. (Yes, through the pain.) Also, I was not able to heal mine until I made myself sleep on my back with my arms down every night. This made a huge difference. It allows the correct blood flow to the shoulder. Best of luck!
Helpful - 2
Avatar universal
I just registered on here today to see if i could find anything for that exact symptom. I am 21 and having the same syptoms in my right arm I thought maybe it was contributed to being on the computer all day at work and got a wrist brace for when I type, that has not helped, I have gotten to where I have to sleep on my left side with two pillows in front of me to lay my right arm on and it still does not help that much I wake up off and on all through the night. I am also having back pains and numb hand and fingers at times, the numbness is in my left and right hand. The pain in my right arm is more intense when I move my arm away from my body or up at all.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Sounds like you have injured your alner nerve (not sure of spelling)in your arms. My mom had this same issue doctor after doctor couldn't figure it out chiropractor or physical therapy wasn't working. She finally seen a doctor the did an extensive nerve test and found she had injured the alner nerve and needed surgery to fix it after her surgery it is alot better. She was off work for a year on workmans comp because of all the pain. She had surgery on her alner nerve and it has helped her alot she was able to return to work she's a CNA so she uses her arms alot. Good luck hope this helps you all.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I KNOW the PAIN your DESCRIBE and I do not SELL MSM!  

This information and RELIEF of pain came from a BODY BUILDER after I suffered 24/7 for 4 years of pain from right side of body, fingers to right side of neck, arm muscles spasms endlessly 24 hours a day!  I tried acupuncture, VIOX, huge needles shoved into the palm of my hand (it was 2.5 inches thick) writing was now impossible.  I was told to use MSM in tablet form.  2 capsules in the morning, 2 capsules at bedtime (use 3 times a day if needed).  RESEARCH this product that is mostly sulphur.  YOUR BODY will tell YOU how much you need by the reduction of pain.  My body took 6 months until ALL the pain was GONE.  I was hit by a truck, so I have Deep Tissue damage that will be with me for the rest of my life.  I take MSM as needed.  I hadn't taken it for a long time and I now have the same debilitating pain on the top of my right hand, muscles (or tendons) in right arm between elbow and shoulder - pain has travelled up my right shoulder (bursitis area) and into my neck.  At the time of diagnosis after the truck hit me, I was told I had TENOSINOVITIS.  Inflammation is basically the issue.  Look at your diet.  Are you eating break, dairy or other foods that CAUSE inflammation in YOUR body?  My pain is worse when I try to sleep.  I am once again taking the MSM and rubbing TIGER BALM on the skin location of pain.  You can also grind the MSM and mix with any cheap lotion and the pain will subside by osmosis.  If you want faster results, ask for DMSO (oil that smells fishy) but works.  This product was discovered by the Health Sciences Dept. at the University of Oregeon.  They were trying to discover another method of pain treatment via OSMOSIS for Cancer patients, other than by needles.  DMSO was discovered, but because it smells fishy, further testing was done.

RESEARCH MSM or look for the book, "The Miracle of MSM."  Hope this is helpful for some.  MSM is good for any type of INFLAMMATORY DISEASES.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I have had the same pain between my shoulder and elbow for about a month and a half. First it was just my right arm but now its both. Just last week my lower arm muscles are in pain also. I can not lift my arms very high and some days its hard for me to even lift my coffee cup to my mouth. Any info on what this might be would be greatly appreciated!!
Helpful - 1
2 Comments
Hi I'm having this problem, and its so rubbish the pain is awful. But for me in 2 weeks it will be sorted. I am having my gallbladder taken out and the side effect of gallstones is upper arm pain. So it might be worth investigating this idea. Will check back after my op and let you know if it has sorted it, Fingers crossed.  Carrie.
I know it's only been a short time but did the pain in your arm go away after getting your gallbladder removed? My wife is having the same issue with her arm but also her gallbladder isn't functioning at 100%. I forget the number the gave her after the test.
Avatar universal
I am so glad I found this post.
I have had pain in my upper right arm for about 13 months now.
It is halfway between my elbow and shoulder, on the upper or outside of my arm.
It aches and sometimes sort of burns.  It is 24/7, but worse at night.

My Dr says it's related to my neck, and won't consider anything else.
I have no health insurance so my choices are limited.

I had an MRI, and asked the Dr to have them include scanning of my arm, but they did not. (Paid for it out of pocket too) His instructions said "suspect C5 or C6, so that's what they scanned.
He did x-ray my arm and saw nothing like a tumor.
I can feel a kind of ropey/bumpy area exactly where the pain seems to originate, and it follows up my arm and around towards my shoulder.

I am at my wits end.

Anyone think ultrasound tell me anything?

Thanks and hope all of you find relief.



Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Wow. I know this is an old thread, but you described the exact same thing that I feel:"a ropey bumpy thing" it's deep, halfway between elbow and shoulder and so this "arm thing" also effects my shoulder. I was thinking some sort of muscle knot.
Avatar universal
Woke up this morning after a painful night of arm ache-age with a couple of thoughts:  first, thanks to ALL of you who have posted on this site; it is wonderful to know we are not alone, and not crazy--how weird that we all have the pains in the exact same place--and the second thought is about printing off these comments and highlighting specific comments when going to the doctor.  We are not nut cases, we are not making this up...thanks again to all of you :X
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I cannot believe that so many have the same pain that has plagued me.  I hope someone is able to come up with something that will explain it and or help it.  


Jocie
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
TFW
Omygoodness, I cant believe I found this forum.  I have the exact same pain in my right arm.  I never had any problem until I was recovering from a stroke and emergency surgery.  While in the hospital for two weeks afterward, I noticed a dull aching in my right arm, midway between the elbow and shoulder.  The discomfort gradually worsened over the next month until I couldnt use my arm at all.  An orthopedic surgeon told me I had torn my rotator cuff and needed surgery but, when he got in there, he found nothing.  Weekly deep tissue massage helps a lot, but I'd like to find out what's causing the pain.  
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
HAVE YOU GOTTEN BETTER YET? IS THERE A SURGERY FOR THIS IM TIRED OF PAIN
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the exact same pain, it started mid arm on right side and now is there and also inside my elbow, over the past two years I have had three shots in arm and one directly into sholder joint. the doctor put me on celebrex but the side effects will scare the b-Jesus out of you. So I quit taking it, I have found very little relief and it is definately worse at night when I'm trying to sleep and can't find a position to get in where it doesn't hurt. Sure would like to know some way for the pain to go away
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi all, I just typed "pain and pressure both upper arms" (something that's been happening to me for a few years now; my arms can get painfully numb after 5 minutes of lying on them} and it brought me here.  I am actually having issues with my lower back and just had an epidural last week to relieve the pain. Because the back pain was so agonizing for the past year, I just focused on it and didn't tell the MD that my arms get numb and tingly or the burning pressure and pain I also have.  
I believe is time I tell him about my arms too, just in case, huh?  Good luck to all of you, I'll return for updates.  Thank you.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I wrote about this on 1/28, I recently saw a Dr. again.  This Dr. believes that I may have a pinched nerve in the neck which could be responsible for the pain in my right arm which also makes my hand and arm numb and swollen.  She also told me to take 2 of the Vicoden every 4 hours at night (so I take it twice), I tried this and had the first painless night since this started almost a month ago.  Problem is, I don't want to be on pain meds, I want the problem to go away.  She did have me get a bunch of x-rays of back, neck, and arm.  She also is referring me to a "physical medicine" doctor.  Hopefully this doctor can find the cause.  Will stay in touch...Good luck to all...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My 26 yr old daughter also has this same pain in her upper arm -- she descibes the pain as a pressure that if she didn't know any better she swears her arm is about to blow up.  It also is the worst at night and if the spell was really bad it effects her arm all day.  This pain started two years ago and lasted the first time for three months.  She had xrays, CT scans, MRI's, bone scans, neurological exams and NOTHING showed up.  Her GP was struck and what else to do -- also pain meds did nothing --- possibly the narcotic ones may have but she didn't what to resort them them.  So here we are two years later and it is starting up again ..... we don't know where to go from here either.  When I found this web site --  I told her it wasn't a diagnosis but at least there are other people with the exact problem, so you know that it is not just in your head ----- BUT IS THERE ANYONE WITH ANSERS --- PLEASE -- IS THERE NOT A DOCTOR WHO HAS ANY NEW INFO -- Just out of curiousity have any of you been exposed to wood ticks in the past couple of years ?????

Pennie in Moose Jaw
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I went to the Dr. on Fri. about this exact problem which woke me up at night 2 weeks ago and every night since. Pain in the upper right arm is excruciating at night and last night it started slightly in left arm.  Have resorted to sleeping in almost a sitting position to keep arms straight because pain is worsened if arm is bent. Pain meds for last three nights did not help.  Dr. said it may be overuse of the muscle due to the physical work I do.  She said pain meds only will help a little, need anti-inflammatory meds which I am allergic to and cannot take. Has anyone tried those?
Helpful - 0
2 Comments
I have this to. It started in my right arm now it is in both doctor said I have 2 frozen shoulders. I have had this for 6 months painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs. Did you get a diagnisus
When I have that pain as yours, I use a heating pad and that help me a lot with the inflammation. I prefer natural remedies. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Well, here I am again.  Saw the "physical medicine" Dr. who performed Nerve Conduction Studies exam on both my arms and confirmed I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms which I knew I had but I was not using the braces because they gave me little relief.  Dr. suggested I start using them again because sometimes CTS can cause pain in the upper arms and the braces can relieve this, so I did.  After 6 weeks of painful nights with little sleep, I am finally free of the pain and am sleeping much better and without any pain meds.  I still have a dull pain during the day and some numbness in my fingers.  Of course the only cure is surgery which is something I will have to think about.  I still have to have the bone scans to rule out any possible tumor in the bone but since the braces are working at night I doubt anything else is wrong.  For now I can live with this condition as long as the excruciating pain at night is gone. Will continue to update, good luck...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the exact same problem in both arms between the elbow and shoulder with the pain on the outside away from my body. It showed up a couple of months ago and I was trying to figure out if it had anything to do with me being 4 months pregnant. My obstetrician doesn't think so though. Since I am pregnant, I can't take ibuprophen or get x-rays so I really don't know what to do. I also have a toddler that I lift a lot so maybe that's causing it. Anyway, I'm not so happy that other people are having the same pain, but relieved to know that I'm not crazy. I don't think it's carple tunnel - I don't have any numbness in my hands - at least, not yet.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi my names Vince, im 17 and i have the same problem under shoulder above elbow, hurt when i move it hi or behind me, hurts when i sleep or inactive, when i wake up, i cant enjoy V-games anymore because if im not active it hurts, one relief i figured out if keep that arm active and it tend not to hurt, if you have the same problem,
if you find out anything let me know at ***@**** my brother made the account when i was 14 (jerk) now ever one will think im a sexfiend and i am not lol,
thanks sorry i couldnt help, but be active
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi my names Vince, im 17 and i have the same problem under shoulder above elbow, hurt when i move it hi or behind me, hurts when i sleep or inactive, when i wake up, i cant enjoy V-games anymore because if im not active it hurts, one relief i figured out if keep that arm active and it tend not to hurt, if you have the same problem,
if you find out anything let me know at ***@**** my brother made the account when i was 14 (jerk) now ever one will think im a sexfiend and i am not lol,
thanks sorry i couldnt help, but be active
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
In October, 2007, I developed an extremely sore throat, accompanied by an abscess on my tonsil.  At the same time, I found that I could not turn my head side-to-side, nor lift my arms forward, sideways, etc.  The Sports Medicine doctor took x-rays, which turned out so poorly, he could not determine whether or not I had a hole in my rotator cuff.  I was sent to rehab., whereupon I was told that the tissue in my upper arms was filled with knots, and that my shoulder joints were not frozen.  At this time, I could not lie on either side of my body, due to intense pain in my shoulders and arms.  Deep tissue massage was done for three days, at which time I developed a fever and lost my voice to the point where I could only whisper.  After two visits to my family doctor, the visit to the Sports Medicine doctor, three trips for rehabilitation, one visit to the emergency room where a swab test was done, two visits to two different ENT doctors, two different antibiotic regimes, one CAT neck scan and the abscess being opened, I could again speak, move my head in better fashion, and had increased motion in my arms.  I can not reach behind my back any longer, and develop extreme pain in the tissues of my upper arms at night, although I am able to lie on my side for longer lengths of time before pain sets in.  The upper arm pain occurs primarily when I am lying on my back.  When the pain starts, I find that I cannot lift my arm, and have to use the opposing arm/hand to lift and readjust the aching arm.  I am wondering just which specialty I should seek when looking for a doctor to diagnose my ongoing problem.  The strangest thing is the fact I had absolutely no problems with my neck or arms before the onset at the first of October.  The swab test done at the hospital was immediately after I had completed one session of powerful antibiotics, so I'm wondering if that would have been responsible for the negative results that the test showed.

If you have any answers pertaining to the above information, I would very much appreciate hearing from you.



Helpful - 0
395387 tn?1223003151
sorry to hea about your SX,
i do not have this problem,just happened to come across your post,
i am an xraytech and have seen many xrays with bone cysts,
there is a genetic disorder called osteochondroma  (bone tumor) it is a cyst that forms in long bones (femur,humerus,forearm,tibfib)   i don't know what kind of TX there is for it, but your dr can order a bone scan  

they usually occur in children up to adolescent, but if they start growing again after puberty, they usually become cancerous causing pain,

this disease can be hereditary

talk to your dr,i hope it helps
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
That's a very scary thought. To your knowledge, would it be possible for these cysts to cause equal pain and be in the exact same place in both arms? Also, I would think that the pain would be all day and not just at night if it was cancer. I can't get an xray because I'm pregnant, but will ask my doctor about it. Thanks for your insight.

I have found that forcing myself to sleep on my back with my arms straight has lessened the pain a great deal.
Helpful - 0
395387 tn?1223003151
as far as i know they are in the same spot ,
i don't know about the pain,
since you are pregnant ask your dr to do an ultrasound
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
good idea. Thanks!
Helpful - 0
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