Is Anyone Else Experiencing Arm Pain From Using A Bp Cuff?

Question

Asked by John

Is Anyone Else Experiencing Arm Pain From Using A Bp Cuff?

I use an automatic bp machine to keep a close check on my bp. The metal ring that you slip the cuff through severely irritates my arm (especially when taken more than once a day or several times a week). Have thought about buying a commercial grade monitor whereby the cuff has no metal ring. Have not seen this type in retail stores. In addition, they are very expensive. Is the arm pain a sign of irritation to the nerve or is it nerve damage? Is it temporary or permanent? Your thoughts?

Answer

John,

Thanks for your question.

This is most likely an irritation of the nerve, and should cause permanent damage to the nerve.

The one major nerve in the upper arm is the brachial nerve and is located on the inside surface (the side that comes in contact with your chest) of the arm. There is little muscle on this surface and the metal clip may be pressing on the nerve. Try turning the cuff so that the clip is located on the outside surface where the muscles are thicker. This should not affect the pressure readings and avoid contact with the nerve.

If the fails to correct the problem, your cuff may be too small. Inquire whether there is a larger cuff available or if another type of cuff (other than the metal clip) is available.

I hope this has been helpful.

Martin Cane, M.D.