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Blood flow problem in left arm ?

Discussion in 'Other Symptoms' started by Dechi, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’m hoping someone’s had this problem and knows what to do. I am seeing my massage therapist in 2 days but last 3-4 times I saw her I had to leave after a few minutes because I couldn’t stand being touched, so I’m not too hopeful with that.

    My left arm has been hurting for many months, mostly when I try to sleep on my stomach, face to the left. No matter how I put my left arm, stretched or curled, it ends up hurting from what feels like cut-off circulation. Sleeping on my stomach is my preferred position, so because of this I keep tossing and turning at night, causing me to sleep less and having more symptoms during the day. My whole body hurts more at night, from fibro I think, so this on top is not helping.

    At first I thought wearing my smart watch for so long had caused my skin to tighten underneath it and caused blood flow problems. So I took it off and put it on the right side 3-4 months ago, but it didn’t help.

    Now I am wondering if it’s because I spend a lot of time on my tablet (not on my lap, on a very handy adjustable stand that lets me have it at the right height and angle) and mainly use my left hand to navigate and write. I usually put a cushion underneath my arm so it is not hanging in the air (that hurts) but my hand has to be at a 90 degree angle more or less. I also try to change hands once in a while, not helping either. I read and do a lot on my tablet, so not using it is not an option. Maybe this is creating some kind of tissue/muscle inflammation and blocking the blood flow to my arm ?

    Anyone has this problem ? What do you do about it ?

    This has gotten bad so any idea will be appreciated ! :)
     
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  2. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My first thought is possible blood clot. I really hope not though.
    Muscle/joint issues seem to be common for me but i have a good chiropractor that keeps things as well as she can, if you lived in my neighbourhood i would send you to her and she could figure it out. But otherwise if you know a good cyro thats an option (but good ones are as rare as old).
     
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  3. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is it the whole arm or mainly the elbow and down?
     
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  4. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The elbow and down.
     
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  5. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve been tested so many times for heart problems, and again not long ago at the Ottawa heart institute that this possibility is very slim. This has been going on for months and months, it would have been seen before during testing I suppose.
     
  6. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I get pain in left arm I have a family history of heart disease and I have hypertension so I actually summoned up the courage to ask GP about it as I thought it’s possibly angina. I had an ECG or EKG whatever it’s called and they didn’t pick anything up. I get issues with neck and what I suspect is costochondritis in my chest as well. I used to sleep on my front before I got hypertension and when I was less heavy but now tend. to sleep on my right side. I have Bowen which is a type of gentle chiro to help straighten me out I used to have chiro and deep tissue massage but I can’t tolerate anything that’s not gentle. It is too much and gives me PEM.
     
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  7. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @NelliePledge does your GP think it might be angina ? And did you find relief for your arm ?
     
  8. hedgehog

    hedgehog Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    If you're able to get to an orthopedic doctor, they might have some ideas. An occupational therapist might be able to give you advice on adjusting how your space is arranged and how you're sitting. Please disregard this if you already knew of these two things. They were new to me when I started having arm pain.

    My arm pain seems different than what you describe (it's accompanied by numbness and tingling), so I don't know if my anecdote will be helpful. Physical therapy helped temporarily but didn't solve the problem. Massage would not have helped, as my muscles needed to be strengthened. Acupuncture helped with pain a bit but was too stimulating/tiring to continue.

    There are topical creams and heating or cooling pads that can also help with pain. But if this has been going on several months, it's probably best to see a doctor in case there's more to it.

    Best of luck finding some answers and relief :hug:
     
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  9. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It could be several things @Dechi, it might be best to have a dr taking a look at it. Tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, pinched nerve, or circulatory problem. Are you left handed too? i find that my dominant hand/arm is quite sore from doing trivial things and the tendon insertions are quote sore at time.
    But by all means everyone is different and it it keeps you awake at night, you may want to rule out the major concerns.
     
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  10. inox

    inox Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Do you use a touch screen, or a keyboard? I've found that using a keyboard with my tablet is much easier on my hands, mostly moving my fingers - whereas on a touch screen there is more movement of the arm, straining it.
     
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  11. sb4

    sb4 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think there is a high chance it is CFS/Dysautonomia related. When I was at my worst I would get pins and needles in my extremities all the time, particularly my left arm. I would also get aching and pinching in my left arm veins/arteries. I had to be very careful how I slept.

    I have also had 3 occasions where I would experience very heart attack lke symptoms; I would get extreme heart pounding, difficulty breathing, pins and needles all through my body, shivering cold but clammy and sweaty, aching all down my left arm and chest, and an intense feeling of imminent doom which I later learned many heart attack survivors experience. I honestly thought I was going to die. I vividly remember looking up at the clock seeing it was 3am on a thursday in july and thinking this is where it ends.

    My main symptoms are heart ones, painful heart pounding is the worse one for me, yet I have had various tests on my heart which all come back fine. I am convinced that the dysautonomia is causing blood flow issues and the heart to have to work a lot harder.

    Luckily through various self prescribed treatments I am doing a ton better on this front now although my main symptoms are still dysautonomia/heart based.
     
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  12. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    @Dechi, I think all we can advise you to do is get a doctor to examine you properly to work out what the problem is. We all need to be wary of speculating or trying to suggest diagnoses.

    Best wishes with getting it sorted out.
     
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  13. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't know what it is, neither did my GP, although she didn't actually investigate nothing came to mind for her - she's like that.

    I found, by accident, that OTC antihistamines reduced and blocked it, specifically Cetirizine, the dose seemed irrelevant, i.e. taking more than one didn't increase effects. When it's bad it can take a couple of days, if not so bad an hour or two.

    Please note that I am not medically trained, that the above is just my experience, and that I have absolutely no theories or rational as to why it worked for me, but it's cheap, harmless for virtually everyone and it might be worth mentioning to your doctor.
     
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  14. sb4

    sb4 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Wonko Interesting, I noticed an improvement with mirtazapine (antihistamine) and didn't experience the real bad heart attack like stuff ever since taking it. Although I did still have the pins and needles and pinching etc.
     
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  15. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No they said nothing wrong after the ECG. No I still get discomfort. If I’m still getting it next time I have hypertension review I will raise it again. I don’t know if angina always shows up on ECGs.
     
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  16. Nellie

    Nellie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had similar symptoms but maybe not as much pain as you. What helps me is keeping my hands below my heart; I've found new sleeping positions.

    Maybe worth a try while you wait for docs apt.
     
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  17. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks, I’ve scheduled an appointment with my GP in 2 weeks and will suggest it to her.

    I am actually ambidextrous (sp?). My dominant hand is my right hand but I use whichever one is more convenient. In this case I use the left hand a lot more.

    Touchscreen. I couldn’t use a keyboard whith my setup, as the ipad is not sitting on a surface, it is higher up. I will change it if need be (the setup).

    That’s a possibility. I do have neurally mediate hypotension, I don’t know if ot can interfere with this kind of use of my hand/arm.

    I just got an appointment in 2 weeks.

    I am taking Reactine because of daytime allergies and maybe twice a week, Benadryl to help me sleep. So far no difference.

    I have found this to help too, but the pain doesn’t go away.


    Thanks for the advice, I will be bringing all of it to my GP.
     
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  18. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    best thing to do, @Dechi best of luck and if you feel inclined to do so, by all means let us know what the verdict is.
     
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  19. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I really like this idea. If your GP is hesitant to send you its probably worth insisting.

    I had this for years and no one could figure out why (many, many years before my ME was diagnosed).
     
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  20. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In my case i assume deconditioning plays a factor. It would be the main issue, as you cannot assume you keep your function if you do not maintain normal activities.

    However. I know of others who have abnormal weakness in their arms, and deconditioning cannot explain this. It is why it is so important that our symptms get assessed by a professional.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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