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left arm and hand pain.

Posted by sarah

hi my left arm and hand for the past 2 weeks is like having tooth ache in both. my knuckles in my hand are sore and even simple things like opening a door or lifting a kettle hurts?
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In the appropriate age group, we might think of heart disease at the mention of left arm pain.  However, this is typically upon physical exertion and associated with shortness of breath (dyspnea) and sweating (diaphoresis) and nausea.


But heart disease isn't usually associated with hand pain such that the knuckles hurt and lead to difficulty opening doors & lifting a kettle.  I would instead think more about an inflammatory joint condition, eg rheumatoid arthritis.  More specifically, how long does the stiffness last in the morning?  Again, depending upon age, we might also think about polymyalgia rheumatica or dermatomyositis.  Any skin or pigmentary changes?  Any low grade fevers?


Of course, some infections can be misleading, eg Lyme disease.  I suppose chronic fatigue syndrome could start like this.  Some medications can cause muscle aches.  Statins are notorious for this.  But did you know that red yeast rice is the mother of all statins and thus could also cause muscle aches even tho it's "natural".


I'm sure that if you'd injured yourself, you wouldn't be writing in but a nerve injury in the neck or shoulder could present this way, too.  You certainly don't want to wait until the muscle on the affected shrinks from lack of nerve signal.  The point is to go see your family doc and get thoroughly & appropriately evaluated.  Good luck!

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