View Full Version : upper arm/shoulder nerve pain

02-13-2010, 02:07 PM
does anyone know what this is? i get this sharp shooting pain of the nerves when i raise my arm above a certain point or move it in a certain direction. the pain seems to originate where the upper arm meets the shoulder. i started to get shooting pains after playing more tennis than i usually do, a couple weeks ago. interestingly, the pain isn't there when i play tennis, it only comes back when i am done. does this sound like a rotator cuff issue? and would this be alleviated to by switching to a lighter and more flexible racquet? my current racquet is almost 13 oz. and has a 72 stiffness rating and i am thinking that is the culprit.

02-13-2010, 02:20 PM
oh and i should also say the pain is only felt in the upper arm and not really in the shoulder.

02-13-2010, 07:57 PM
The shoulder area is very complicated and it could be any number of things. You really need to be checked out by an orthopod with an interest in shoulder problems in throwing athletes (tennis players, pitchers and quarterbacks.)
From your description it could be an impingement syndrome (pinching of the rotator cuff tendons) that responds to intitial rest/ice, then strengthening with physical therapy. Or it could be a rotator cuff tear, of something else. Getting it checked out is the way to go.

But in the long term, you really do want to save your shoulder from the shock involved in hitting with such a stiff frame. And while the mass of a heavy racquet does absorb more shock stress, you are generating a lot of force that the shoulder has to absorb, since unlike a ball or even a shotput, you don't let your racquet go. So at the end of your swings, that force is pulling on your shoulder. Unless you have really built up the muscles that restrain that force by doing at least the thrower's ten, these restraining muscles will get stretched out and the force will have to be restrained by the weaker tendons and ligaments of the rotator cuff. Ouch!

02-14-2010, 12:15 PM
yea i guess i'll have to rest it more and in meanwhile start looking to replace the racquet. thanks. it does feel like a pinching of the nerver or something like that.

02-14-2010, 08:48 PM
When you say "pinching of the nerves" it makes me think you could have the thoracic outlet syndrome.
http://spectrum2105.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/TOS.15155719_std.jpg http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://spectrum2105.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/TOS.15155719_std.jpg&imgrefurl=http://spectrum2105.com/flex-3_for_rotator_cuff_thoracic_outlet&usg=__YT_wDORJvsdzu8UtIDxcONkFZCU=&h=552&w=466&sz=81&hl=en&start=54&itbs=1&tbnid=DEPNovSvWZJt3M:&tbnh=133&tbnw=112&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dthoracic%2Boutlet%2Bsyndrome%26gbv%3D 2%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D36

All the nerves to the arm have to pass though a narrow space above the first rib and below the clavicle (collar bone). This space is narrow enough all the time, but is even narrower when the arm is raised, as in serving.
You may want to read more about it in this link: http://www.medicinenet.com/thoracic_outlet_syndrome/article.htm

But as I mentioned above, this is such a complicated area, you really should get it checked out medically.

02-14-2010, 09:10 PM
oh and now i feel a little bit of this in my hip joint. odd.
btw, i don't think its thoracic outlet syndrom because the pain starts when my arm is raised only 90 degrees, not above my shoulder.

02-15-2010, 07:40 AM
i get this sharp shooting pain of the nerves when i raise my arm above a certain point or move it in a certain direction. the pain seems to originate where the upper arm meets the shoulder.

A lot of things can cause this, but mostly they come down to some kind of imbalance, either in structure or strength or some combination of both.

For example, the muscles in the front of your shoulder may be stronger and shorter than those in the back. This can move your entire shoulder girdle forward.

Also, if larger muscles are way too much stronger than smaller muscles, the smaller muscles can be completely overpowered and prevented from doing their intended function.

Strengthening and stretching with the purpose of developing front/rear structural balance and large/small muscular strength balance is the key to shoulder health. And seeing a doctor can't hurt if you've got good insurance.