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Stroke

Could this be a stroke?

07/24/2007

Question:

I am a 38 year afrian american female experiencing pain along my left arm and hand. The pain is moderately severe and I felt a slight tingling behind my left ear. I began to experience the pain after a back massage one week ago and it has not gone away. What are the possibilities that I am experiencing a stroke?

Answer:

It is not possible for me to determine if this is a stroke from the information provided. You will need to see a doctor locally.

Here is some general information. Strokes are generally not painful, although there is one exception. If your neck was vigorously manipulated (or if you have had trauma to your head or neck), there is a possibility that one of the arteries supplying the brain could have been injured. This is called an “arterial dissection” and can be associated with stroke symptoms as well as with head or neck pain.

Having your arm hurt is not consistent with a stroke in general, and your head is tingling and not in pain. Thus, it is unlikely to be a stroke that is causing the pain in your arm or your head tingling, as these symptoms are not consistent with stroke. And yet, it is important for you to follow up with your doctor to be fully evaluated.

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati