Pinched Nerve

Early Friday morning I was laying in bed, in that kind of half asleep, half awake state. I moved to stretch out my arms over my head, just like I’ve done a million times before. Before I even got my arms stretched straight, a surge of pain shot up from my shoulder to my hand on the left side. From that instant until now my left arm and shoulder have hurt in very strange ways.

If I leave my arm still for 3 or 4 seconds, then I begin to feel pain radiate out from my arm or shoulder. If I move my arm to a new position, no pain for a few brief seconds. The pain varies in intensity from about a 2 up to maybe a 6 or 7 (on a scale of 1 to 10). The only way to be free from pain is to keep moving my arm. The intensity seems to depend on my body position, it isn’t so bad when I’m standing or sitting up. It is unbearable when laying down.

This is the really weird part though, the pain doesn’t stay in one spot. Sometimes the outside of my arm hurts, close to the tricep muscle. Sometimes the inside hurts, close to the bicep. Sometimes my shoulder hurts, above the collar bone.

You can see where this was going. Last night I was ready to go to sleep around 11pm. I tried laying down in bed, but that just wasn’t happening, way too painful. So I went to the recliner and tried laying there, that was pretty painful, too. I tried laying still and focusing on the pain subsiding, no luck. The only reprieve was to sit up and keep moving. I think I was finally exhausted enough to sleep in spite of the pain around 5am. Blech.

This morning I woke up, and it is even more strange. My arm doesn’t really hurt now, I feel a combination of two things. My arm feels like its asleep, numb and tingling, and it also feels like it is burning, as in hot. Plus, my muscle is twitching.

From the little reading that I’ve done on the web, my understanding is that this is a symptom of repetitive motion, and that it should pass on its own within a few days. Physical therapy, massages and acupuncture may help. Lately I have been thinking that it is time for me to get back into shape. I think this is my body’s way of agreeing with me. Maybe I’ll see an acupuncture specialist first.

3 replies on “Pinched Nerve”

  1. I have the same problem. It started about 2 weeks ago. I woke up with pain in my upper arm and shoulder area. It felt like I got a shot in it and it hurts off and on. mostly when I’m laying down. But sometimes also when I am still. It’s horrible. It also feels hot like my muscles are on fire. I take motrin but only helps for a few hours. I haven’t been to the doctor (no health insurance). Any advice.

  2. @Allison
    Tylenol PM helped me sleep, and physical therapy is what helped this clear up. Massages may also help. The PT had me go through several types of exercises that stretched and strengthened my shoulder and collarbone area. Once I started PT it took about a week for the strange pains to subside, and within a month I was feeling normal again. I hope this helps.

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