Ouch! Arm and shoulder pain

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Any of these symptoms sound familiar?

•  Sudden, sharp pain in the upper arm

•  Popping or snapping you can hear in the shoulder or elbow

•  Cramping of the biceps muscle with strenuous use of the arm

•  Bruising from the middle of the upper arm down toward the elbow

•  Pain or tenderness at the shoulder and the elbow

•  Weakness in the shoulder and the elbow

•  Difficulty turning the palm of the hand up or down


Could be a torn or painful biceps muscle. And if you have that, you may also have a shoulder problem or a rotator cuff tear. Because a torn tendon can no longer keep the biceps muscles tight, a bulge in the upper arm above the elbow (“Popeye Muscle”) may appear, with a dent (signifying absence of muscle) closer to the shoulder.


The first line of treatment for these types of injuries, according to orthopedic specialists, is a variety of nonsurgical options, such as rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, changing your activity, and physical therapy. Surgery can also be considered. But the best advice is to see your doctor, say experts at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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