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Received a shot in right arm upper back fatty part of arm. Now experiencing pain when I move arm in certain directions.

By April 19, 2010 - 8:25am
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About 6 months ago I received an allergy shot in the back part of my right arm. I now am unable to move my arm in certain directions and you can actually, where the shot was administered, feel a knotted area when pressing on the area .... it actually sends shooting pains down my arm. Who do you go see about this type of pain and are there any cures? Is it a pinched nerve or perhaps a tendon problem? One of my friends thought maybe it has something to do with my rotator cuff but why would that be linked to a shot in the arm? I am thinking about going to an acupuncturist? Any ideas?

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Hi Stephen-

This kind of sounds similar to a neuroma. When a nerve is irritated for a long time or injured, often in the metatarsal area of the foot although it can be elsewhere, it can develop a lump that puts pressure on the nerves in the area. I wonder if the injection possibly nicked a cutaneous nerve and irritated it.

There are lots of small nerves in your skin, and it is possible to accidentally catch one during an injection. It isn't commonly a problem, but there is no way to see those nerves. That is why injections tend to always be given in the same areas, because those tend to be areas of the body with plenty of tissue but less chance of hitting a nerve or blood vessel.

When a nerve is injured or irritated, it can develop a sort of little blob of nerve tissue that would then put a little pressure on the nerves running through that area. I would suggest your general health care provider first, and then a neurologist. I wouldn't have acupuncture in that spot until I knew what was in there, because while acupuncture can be great for a lot of things I think it would be safer to not stick you in that area until you know what is going on.

This is a link to Mayo Clinic's discussion of Morton's Neuroma http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mortons-neuroma/DS00468. This is not exactly the same thing you have going on, but it gives a good explanation of what a neuroma is and what the treatment may be. It will give you a little background.

In the meantime, moist heat can often be soothing when the spot is painful, and it is definitely worth a visit to your primary provider or a neurologist. Good luck and if we can be of further help, please let us know.

April 19, 2010 - 8:51am
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