Monday, October 27, 2008 Adrian Serra, Community Member, asks

Q: Severe arm pain after blood test , how long does it usually last ?

I have MS , Fibromyalgia, aside from sciatica from disc injuries in my lower back and disc injuries in my cervical, plus a fracture of the thoracic spine , torn minicus in my right knee , arthritis , migraines, just to name a few ... I had just adjusted meds and was able to have an acceptible amount of pain or aches ..

 

I take baclofen , ultramER and an occasional aleve for muscle inflammation and pain  (to include spasms, migraines) ... I also take other meds for other reasons .. anxiety and depression .. I also go to therapy to help me adjust to all this stuff ..

 

 

Prior to the test I informed the phlebotomist that my veins are thin and normally the tests are drawn from my right arm .. she ignored me and insisted that she take it from the left ..

 

It stung a bit , and she didn't get a full tube but said it was enough .. later on my arm began to ache bad .. by morning it was stiff with severe pain and weakness eminating from the withdrawal site up to my shoulder blade and down to my wrist ..

 

My neighbor who is an RN said it could be that she hit a nerve or tendon or muscle .. she said it should take a week to heal .. to watch for stiffness of the skin , bruising ... that I could take tylenol or aleve to ease the pain ..

 

A week , to the day , I had my visit with the pcp to review the bloodwork .. I told her what happened and that it is still very much in pain and added weakness to my already existing problems .. but it really hurts bad ..

 

She felt the area and said that perhaps it is taking longer to heal due to the MS .. so I said I would give it more time .. I said I would call if it continued .. well, it has been two weeks now and it is still hurting bad .. from the site and up and down my arm ..

 

What if anything would the pcp be able to do ? The meds ease al my other symptoms , the aleve sorta helps , but it is such a pain and has added more weakness .. I do stretches daily , and cannot even do that with my left arm .. I have tried warm compresses, cold compresses and massaging the area .. nothing is working ..

 

So, what do I do ?

Answer This
Answers (5)
Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
11/ 1/08 9:55pm

Hi Adrian,

 

While fibromyalgia can cause what would normally be relatively minor and temporary pain to spread and last for a much longer time, this sounds like a bit much even for FM – although if a nerve, muscle or tendon was significantly damaged it could take awhile for the pain to go away even after it healed.  I wish I could tell you what the problem might be, but I just don't know. I would definitely call your doctor back and let her know it's not getting any better.  It seems she should start trying to find out exactly what happened. 

 

I'm sorry I can't be of more help.  I do wish you the best as you seek an answer from your doctor.  – Karen

 

Reply
mjjgm, Community Member
9/25/09 12:35am

Hello -

 

I just saw this board and am wondering if your pain ever went away in your arm? And if you figured out what it was & how to fix it?

 

I have fibromyalgia and had my blood drawn in June. Shortly after the blood draw I had extreme pain that lasted for days on end. After awhile the symptoms were less extreme, more annoying. Now it's been a few months, the pain isn't gone, now it's increasing. It hurts really bad - burning, stinging - all along one particular vein in my inner arm, and sometimes up the back side of my bicep. The pain has even woke me up in the middle of the night. So far, my doctor has only given me topical pain killer and is now starting me on steriods since he thinks it might be a 'varicose vein'. From my research though, varicose veins in the arm are so rare, plus they are painful but haven't read about them burning. (And wouldn't it look funny? Purple? Mine just bulges a little in one part of the vein.)

 

I was thinking maybe the phlebotomist somehow causes a blood clot, but my dr said that you can 'see' a blood clot just by looking at my arm. (Really??)

 

Well, I'm just looking for some direction. I'm at a loss with the pain and it is severely debilitating since I'm right-handed and it's my right arm. Plus, I'm now traumatized and don't want anyone to ever take my blood again.

Reply
Donna S, Community Member
10/ 5/09 11:54am

What ever happened to your arm? I just had a blood test and first had bad pain in my upper arm and now it is below my elbow in my lower arm. I feel like my whole lower arm is bruised to the touch. Am so afraid . . . can someone taking blood for a blood test give you a blood clot????? I don't know what to do but it is very uncomfortable and it has been a few weeks now.

Reply
armpain, Community Member
10/24/09 8:02am

About 3 years ago I had severe arm pain after blood test in my right arm. I saw neurologist who transferred me to rheumatologist and the latter to pysiotherapist. No one really had an answer. After about two years the pain went. Then, about two months ago I had blood taken from my left arm, because I am still traumatised from the experience, I now have the same symptoms in my left arm. I spoke to my GP but I am not taken seriously. I will not see anyone else but only wait till it goes again, hopefully in a couple of years. I that I will not be able to sleep on my left arm for at least a year and when I travel on the busses I can't use my left arm to firmly hold on to keep balance. It is very annoying and frustrating. However, I know from past experience that it will eventually go away. I do regular gentle stretching exersises to support the recovery process.

Reply
angie, Community Member
2/ 3/14 12:56am

my 11 yr old daughter had blood drawn from her arm at the inside of her elbow(pit of elbow)january 19,she has been complaining about her arm hurting ever since. Is this normal,if so how long will her arm be hurting?

Reply
Dan R., Community Member
11/ 9/09 9:36am

I had an MRI done a couple weeks back.  During the exam, an IV had to be started to run the contrast medium.  When she started it, it hurt at the site and when she lifted my arm overhead, it REALLY hurt so she took it out and put it in the opposite arm.  No problem.  After 5 days, I woke up with terrific pain in my medial arm and forearm...even radiating into the biceps.  It began on Sat. and since I call my doc too often, I waited till Wed. to call.  It would awaken me multiple times at night...even with taking percocet for chronic pain, 4x/day.  Long story shorter, he termed it phlebitis and I am on prednisone right now.  Not sure how much relief I have received but it's been hurting since Oct. 31.  That's the least of my problems.  I have unexplained left hip flexor weakness along with pain following the muscles inside the pelvis that do this motion.  This along with chronic abdominal pain.  I've had my gall bladder removed, a T6 discectomy and recently 18" of colon removed to try to "remove" this pain.  Doesn't seem like I chose too wisely since the pain continues.

 

Anyway, I wrote this in regards to the arm pain comment...not a dissertation on my other pains.

 

Take care,

 

Dan

Reply
murran, Community Member
6/ 2/10 4:39pm

ive got this exact pain im male 29, just had my thyriod out for a lump on it, otherwise fit and healthy tho. since having blood tests from my right arm. i now have servere muscle pains and tingling numb spot on my palm and fore arm cant straighten my arm without debilitating pain from my bicep and forearm but at the same time as this the numb spot tingles and feels cold. i too get woken up at night if i move my arm in any way. pain killers having no effect, im at a loss.

Reply
Mama, Community Member
8/18/10 3:12pm

I also have Fibromyalgia, but I have been dealing with arm pain in my right arm above my elbow for about 3 months now. I had an IV put in over 3 months ago and delveloped a blood clot from it. I have been on daily asprin ever since and as I write this the pain in my arm has gone from a major painful nuisance to a large pain that is almost unbearable. I am waiting on a call from the doctor. But for all who read this and have similar symptoms. Be checked for a blood clot. I can see mine right through the skin just above my inner elbow and the vein going up from there is hard and bumpy. I seem to be much more concerned than the doctors. Question for you all, could my daily asprin be leading to the worsoning of my daily headaches. I also shake and twitch at times.

Reply
Answer This

Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Adrian Serra, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/03/14, First Published: 10/27/08