Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

elbow pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 1 Replies
  • Posted By: bomber
  • February 17, 2009
  • 00:51 AM

Two years ago, I noticed a sharp pain when I rested my right arm on the armrest while driving. Within months the pain was reoccurring whether the arm was touching anything or not. The Dr. put me on Neurontin-three, three hundred milligrams each evening. This completely helped with the pain for six months. Then, one afternoon, the pain came back and would not go away. The pain is excruciating-sharp, burning and unrelenting. The best way to describe it is, if I am wearing a long sleeved shirt, and it is touching the elbow when the pain occurs, I have to peel the shirt away from the elbow as if I have an open, deep wound and the shirt is stuck inside the wound. I have had X-rays, nerve testing, and an MRI to eliminate ulna nerve entrapment. Let me explain where exactly the pain is. If I bend my arm up to my chin, the pain is located on the outside of my arm, on the bony potrusion of the left side of my right elbow. As long as I take Neurontin throughout the day, I have no pain. Isn't this indicative that there is something going on with a nerve? If I am even late taking this medication the pain comes back with a vengeance. Can a nerve be unstable and maybe when I was having the MRI it was in the correct place, but maybe migrates during the day with activity and gets pinched? My goal is get off of Neurontin because it makes me extremely sleepy, and I want to find the reason this is happening.

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  • What are your hobbies/activities? Do you play tennis or otherwise use that arm for an activity (in a repetitive way)? It sounds to me like it's possible this is lateral epicondylitis (commonly known as tennis elbow). This can be caused by other repetitive motions as well as by tennis-- you don't have to play tennis to get this. It's an inflammation of the outside (lateral) bony protuberance (epicondyle). You didn't mention the pain going either up or down your arm. Normally, with lateral epicondylitis, the pain will travel down your forearm. Does it hurt to shake hands or turn a doorknob?Let me explain where exactly the pain is. If I bend my arm up to my chin, the pain is located on the outside of my arm, on the bony potrusion of the left side of my right elbow.I've re-read your post and I am unsure of where the pain is. You state it's on the 'outside' but then you say on the 'left side of your right elbow'....which would be the inside in my mind. No matter....either of the epicondyles can become inflamed. When it's the outside and turning a door handle or shaking hands hurts, it's likely Tennis Elbow. When it's on the medial side (the inside closest to your body), it's known as Golfer's Elbow. Same problem, different sides. With either of the two, micro tears in the muscles supporting the elbow can form calcium deposits or scar tissue. This can place pressure on the nerve causing severe pain. This nerve pain would more likely happen with Golfer's Elbow, but can happen with either. There are many treatments for this. Immediately following pain, administer RICE- rest, ice, compression and elevation to the area for about 48 hours (don't ice yourself 48 hours straight, use caution that the skin does not get too cold). Soft tissue release of the surrounding (offending) muscles and massage that helps scar formation is a great way to treat. In any case, go through your doctor. They might send you to a Physical Therapist, who can help greatly in this matter (if it turns out to be what you have).Good luck, I wish you well! :)
    Harmonium 322 Replies
    • February 17, 2009
    • 04:14 AM
    • 0
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