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Athletic Training

Physical therapy on arm

08/15/2008

Question:

I went to my first appointment at the PT last night and he thinks that I have damaged my radial nerve in my right arm. My family doctor thinks that it is the muscle in my forearm. Every time the PT touched any were on that nerve I would go crazy in pain. But I have no pin and needles any where in my hand or arm. I also have sevre rheumatoid arthritis in all my joints. He taped it last night and the pain was so bad after he did it. He told me to try and keep it on for 2 hours. I did that but took it off right after that. Because it was my first time there for my arm I kneww that there would be alot of pocking and moving of the arm. I am very sore this morning. The pain in my arm is worse. He wants me to do an exercise that stretches the nerve three times a day. I did that this morning almost in tears the pain was so bad. He told me to do them as far as I can with out pain. I told him if that is the case I would not move at all or even get out of be because of my RA. Could this just because the movement of the arm last might be increasing the pain and should I try and continue to do the exercises?

Answer:

It is not uncommon for the pain to be worse once you start actively using the arm and starting a new program.  I would suggest you call your local PT back to describe your increased pain and get his/her recommendations for continuing the program and to what intensity level. Your RA probably adds to the symptoms as well. 

Good luck with your treatment and I hope you are able to have some success.

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Response by:

Janine   Oman, MS, PT/ATC Janine Oman, MS, PT/ATC
Assistant Athletic Director
Instructor at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University