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Best to keep moving or use a sling?

A fierce pain in my upper arm and shoulder that runs down to fingers is back after a few months absence. Doing anything which involves holding my arm out is agony. Even letting my arm dangle hurts. Am I better off making a temporary sling from a scarf to rest it or should I keep it moving despite sickening pain can anyone tell me? As most will no I still have no proper diagnosis of RA so can't ask a physio but hoping someone can help.

6 Replies

Keep it moving ... gently! Using impromptu measures could exacerbate the problem and actually lead to damage. Pain such as this could be indicative of several problems and I would suggest early medical intervention is the way forward.

Good luck

Lyn :)


Thanks Lyn - is it in keeping with the possible RA do you know? I keep moving it but as it's my right arm and I'm right handed I get this deep shooting pain that seems to disable my whole limb and makes me feel as if I might pass out or be sick. I've maxed out on my over the counter pain tablets today and it's really hard to get comfy in bed. If it's still there on Monday I'll go and see GP but from previous experience I suspect it will have gone away or moved on to another limb/ joint on the opposite side by then.

Tilda x


It could be carpel tunnel. this can occur with RA..


Hi Tilda

This soundsmore like the RCI I had. Those sharp shooting pains and you can't use the arm lift it or rest it. And the pain is unbelievable and you can't put yourself anywhere or rest - shite it's goddam awful. Try an ice pack and painkillers. I was told to rest it whilst painful, but when the pain wears off try and make sure you move the top joint by rolling the whole joint forward and backward. Don't try and move it by flexing the arm because this then rolls inside the socket of the joints and makes it worse. Lie on the floor with a rolled up towel between your shoulder blades longways down the back, so that the top of the arms fall down to the floor either side of the towel. If this hurts too much get a smaller towel. Also when standing up make sure the whole of your shoulders are sitting over the top of your lower back and you are not slouching forward. Hope this makes sense!!!

Carpel Tunnel - another complaint I have had the pleasure of experiencing, emanates from the wrists and the pains shoot to theends of the fingers ( you also get numb and tingly finger tips) and when it gets really bad you get the shotting pains up the arms firstly to the elbows and then to the top of the arm, when you try and lift or use the hands. I used to get awful shooting pains when I tried to drinka cuppa!

Good luck my love.

Julie xxxx


Interesting. The locum GP I first saw back in March with wrist and finger pain said Carpal Tunnel but after that my own GP got carried along with the positive RF and the raised inflammatory levels and it has never been mentioned since. It wouldn't explain the feet and knees I guess but it could explain the wrists, hands and now the upper right arm? Many thanks all I'll mention it to GP if still a problem next week.


Also suddenly clocked that I used the dog ball thrower - one of those long scoopy ones which you flick over the shoulder) the other day for a reasonable stretch of time and now think that's what's caused shoulder/ arm problem. I used to be able to get away with things like this daily but maybe my body is changing and won't let me do "normal" things such as throw the ball any more?


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