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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Chest, arm pain.

 Shake - Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:05 pm

I am a 46 year old male who works as a chef and have been having pain in the right side of my chest but more so in my right arm above the elbow. It is a constant debilitating pain almost like an electric shock at times. Heat seems to relax it but it does not go away.
I've recently started taking Naproxen for lower back pain (on left side) with only constipation as a side effect.
The Naproxen has helped loosen dull finger joints probably due to inherited arthritis.
PUt it is the pain in my upper arm that continues into my chest and up to the base of my neck that I am worried about. Because I work in healthcare I asked several nurses what they thought it might be - ie: shift of the heart, pinched nerve, and some say artery clog.

I'm hoping it's none of the above and is due to the damp, rainy cold weather we have been experiencing these last few weeks in Eastern Ontario.

If you have any suggestions please help.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:32 pm

User avatar Hello,

Muscle spasm alone can cause this pain which can be an unidentified cause but in many cases is the result of inappropriate posture for long time.

In these cases, self care and avoiding the precipitating cause will lead to a gradual but clear improvement in the pain. Home treatment includes the use of Analgesics, cold or hot therapy.
Rest for maximum two days is also beneficial.

If these measures fail to relief the pain or to improve symptoms in 48 hours, otherwise the pain is more likely to be due to other causes, like:
Herniated disk, in which the inter-vertebral disc presses on his nerves,
Spondylosis which is similar to Arthritis but affects the spine etc.
MRI is of choice in the diagnosis.
These are conditions that need specific therapy.

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