How to Deal with a Shooting Pain in Your Arm
Have you ever felt a pain radiating down your arm? An ache that seems to shoot through your shoulder? Have you wondered if you have a pinched nerve? Actually, the cause is more likely musculoskeletal.
In my office, I often see patients who complain of pain which travels down the arm,” says Dr. Joseph Carfi, MD, who has a practice in New Hyde Park, New York. “It may start in the neck; it may start in the shouder; or it just may be isolated in the arm.” Generally, he finds that discomfort of this sort is caused, not by some neurological issue (like a pinched nerve), but by a musculoskeletal problem. Since the body’s internal sensory map is imprecise, your body can misconstrue pain from internal organs and other muscles as originating in the arm. A good example is the arm pain frequently felt by individuals who are experiencing a heart attack—the body is simply confused.
No matter the source, it is important to have any persistent pain evaluated by a physician in order to determine the seriousness of your condition. “Generally speaking, a garden variety pain is going to go away or get significantly better within two weeks,” Dr. Carfi stresses. “Longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor.
Written by Danielle Poupore