Upper arm pain

February 23, 2023

Hi there,

I have developed a strange dull ache in my upper arm – maybe 4 inches down from my shoulder and on the outer side. I regularly practise yoga and pilates (around 5 x per week) and don’t do any strenuous weight lifting. I do not remember an incident or specific event that could have caused it. It’s annoying but not awful pain wise, but nearly always there and worse when I lift my arm up.

Should I be resting or moving it? Is it likely to be something torn? (that’s what it possibly feels like but I have no reference point!). There’s no bruising, possibly a bit of puffiness but nothing obvious in terms of swelling. I don’t want to be making it worse but I hate the idea of no exercise!

Thank you!

February 23, 2023

Hi Emma

It’s the right idea to try to find out what’s up.

Could well be something is torn, or inflamed or squashed like your rotator cuff.

Do you have full range of movement? If you look over your shoulder will that hurt your shoulder? Do you have any pain that runs down your arm? Can you put you hand behind your back? What movements make it better or worse?

Let me know and I’ll tell you more.

The Guru

Guru Responded
February 25, 2023

Hi there
Thanks for getting back to me! My movement is pretty fine and no pain running down my arm and nothing looking over my shoulder.

The worst is probably if I put my hand onto my back over the top of my shoulder – it’s not necessarily super painful or restricted movement but I’m aware of it. I woke up and it was aching today when I hadn’t been moving it at all. In yoga I notice it most when doing plank.

Thank you!

February 25, 2023

OK – makes sense.

I think you’ve got an impingement – this is where your humerus squashes something between it and the shoulder blade/joint.

What works really well in the acute phase are anti inflammatories (if you can, and OTC work well) and then need to do get your thoracic spine moving and then getting your rotator cuff muscle to activate and wake up – then have a gentle snooze when you’ve got pain.

So have a look here https://www.sixphysio.com/videos/shoulders for starters

The Guru

guru-profile Guru Responded

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