Sticking/pulling sensation along inner upper arm

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 14, 2015 12:06 AM GMT
    I've had a twinge in my upper arm for a couple days now; I've found that if I probe the outer/upper edge of my armpit I can manipulate what feels like a fine bundle of tissue all the way to my inner elbow and reproduce the uncomfortable sensation of shifting/pulling. Otherwise it just randomly pulls with a mild but precise pain throughout normal everyday motions.

    I don't do much resistance lately (light chest presses and curls a couple times a week) and none at all for over a week before this started; I've been using a higher desk which keeps my shoulders somewhat elevated, so I think this might be repetitive/ergonomic in nature. I've been on something of an extended fast as part of cleaning up my diet for about a week now, but I don't think that's related.

    I've looked up some median nerve glides but none quite seem to pull this particular fiber, but they do stretch the same general vicinity. My knowledge of anatomy is extremely weak, and I'm having a hard time figuring out how to locate the tension.

    Is this sort of creakiness to be expected as part of aging, or the sort of thing that I should be worried about? I'm assuming I shouldn't be messing with nearby muscle groups until the problem resolves itself and/or I've consulted a physician; is this about right? How long should one normally wait out a pinch or pull (it's not getting worse) before making an appointment?
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Dec 14, 2015 12:57 PM GMT
    Even those on here who are doctors, without an actually examination, couldn't tell you exactly what was wrong. It's time for a visit to your your PCP.
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    Dec 14, 2015 4:44 PM GMT
    I wasn't so much expecting a diagnosis as wondering how long guys here waited before considering something like this worth seeing a physician about. Most doctors I've talked to about random twinges act annoyed (or at least overly patient) that I'm wasting their time with something that will go away on its own.

    Duly noted, though; I'll delete this thread shortly. (I've seen some helpful comments in and out of this thread, so I'm going to leave it be)
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Dec 14, 2015 5:16 PM GMT
    Fair enough. If you are concerned enough to post on here, ask a doctor. Their annoyance is far less important compared to catching an issue early- and if a doctor is annoyed by you asking them medical questions, find another one.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4434

    Dec 14, 2015 6:20 PM GMT
    I get your question. Yes, to some extent it is something that will happen more as you age. I've slowly been adding and adding to my list of pre-workout stretches that I do after 20-30 minutes of light cardio. Warm the blood, then stretch, then work out. I've found doctors to be expensive and not all that useful for these types of strains. I like going to a good massage guy for what feels like a pull.

    Try this: Hold your arm straight out, palm up, like a stop motion. use your other hand to gently pull the fingers back towards your face and then rotate your hand slowly 45 degrees in each direction and see if you can find the tightness. I had a really severe case of tendonitis in my elbow that went away in about 3 weeks doing this... but you can feel it all the way up the inside of the arm. I now do it for both arms before every workout, as well as my whole stretch routine, even on leg days, even on just cardio days.
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    Dec 15, 2015 12:09 AM GMT
    Destinharbor saidI get your question. Yes, to some extent it is something that will happen more as you age. I've slowly been adding and adding to my list of pre-workout stretches that I do after 20-30 minutes of light cardio. Warm the blood, then stretch, then work out. I've found doctors to be expensive and not all that useful for these types of strains. I like going to a good massage guy for what feels like a pull.

    Try this: Hold your arm straight out, palm up, like a stop motion. use your other hand to gently pull the fingers back towards your face and then rotate your hand slowly 45 degrees in each direction and see if you can find the tightness. I had a really severe case of tendonitis in my elbow that went away in about 3 weeks doing this... but you can feel it all the way up the inside of the arm. I now do it for both arms before every workout, as well as my whole stretch routine, even on leg days, even on just cardio days.


    That helps; thanks. I get no twinges from this, but it's a good stretch to know.

    I'm working on finding a PCP (I've moved a couple times this year and don't have anyone local yet) but since you mention it I think that between the desk work and the fact that I'm not getting any younger, stretching should probably be something that I work to make a daily routine whether I feel I have time to work out or not. I'll have to do some research and see what I find.

    I'm probably the sort of person who could really benefit from some remedial yoga, given how much flexibility and range of motion I feel I've lost over the years. The student trainer back at the university always had terrific stretching advice; I suppose that marks another good reason to find a proper gym as soon as I can get some of these work projects wrapped up.

    Thanks!
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    Dec 15, 2015 7:02 PM GMT
    Hey I read thru the comments and thought this over...

    If there is pain, dont poke at it.
    There are lots of nerves in the area you mentioned.

    The assessment is called - Upper Limb Tension Test - ULTT 1..2..3

    If you see a doctor or clinical massage therapist- they will run these tests.
    It checks for dural tension, the nerve stuck in the sheath.

    It can correlate to mental+physical stress; being tightly wound can translate into nerve tension.
    Don't wait to have it checked.
    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 15, 2015 10:38 PM GMT
    fortall saidHey I read thru the comments and thought this over...

    If there is pain, dont poke at it.
    There are lots of nerves in the area you mentioned.

    The assessment is called - Upper Limb Tension Test - ULTT 1..2..3

    If you see a doctor or clinical massage therapist- they will run these tests.
    It checks for dural tension, the nerve stuck in the sheath.

    It can correlate to mental+physical stress; being tightly wound can translate into nerve tension.
    Don't wait to have it checked.
    Good luck.


    Thanks; I had already looked into some of the ULTTs but after another search I found ULTT 4 and the ulnar nerve.

    All the diagrams, as well as the typical causes for ulnar nerve entrapment, seem to apply here; the symptoms had already been fading for about a day and a half now, which I attribute partially to the fact that I have been making a conscious effort to stop leaning on that elbow (or even resting it on anything) when I'm working at a desk.

    I still haven't found a local doctor, but I feel much better prepared to describe my symptoms and related bad habits. All the background information everyone has helped me find is greatly appreciated.

    Edit: The diet may have been an aggravating factor too, though the correlation here is fairly weak. I know Livestrong tends to be pretty shallow, but if something has been mentioned in the literature (true or not) it tends to be there:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/294781-weight-loss-nerve-entrapment/

    I had gained about 10 pounds since summer which I've shed over about two weks; this isn't quite "extreme", but it's more than the recommended rate of loss (about 2.5 pounds per week as I've heard it)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 19, 2015 3:00 PM GMT
    I'm not a doctor but as simply a guy who has worked out all my life and has had my fair share of injuries, it sounds like Tendonitis. The longer you let it go without treatment the worse it can get. For immediate relief I would start icing it until you can get to the doctor.
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    Dec 19, 2015 8:28 PM GMT
    Thanks. It had all but faded completely by the time I saw my new primary yesterday, but during the aforementioned ULTT diagnostics he noticed my shoulders were completely out of whack and he'll be sending me to a surgeon for non-surgical analysis and diagnosis, and we'll come back to the nerve/tendon problem if it is still noticeable after all this.

    This was a major win for me, because the looseness and occasional popping in my shoulders has been something I've wanted to address for a very long time; over the last few years I've just taken chest presses very slowly, doing high reps with low weights, and taking a break whenever I get any pain. After explaining my childhood of farm work (where *not* being injured was considered slacking) he said I need to try aerobics before I try to get too serious about resistance.

    He also agreed with the that the q****s in the Midwest were not giving very good advice when they told me just to not worry about my untreated hernias, and he's going to help me arrange treatment for those.

    So glad to have a doctor who takes these things seriously for once!