Is arm pain and tingling a sign of an impending stroke?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 27, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I've been experiencing shoulder pain for several weeks. At first I thought it was a knot near my shoulder blade. Massages haven't helped, even though both the masseuse and I can feel a knot. In the last week I've noticed my arm getting sore near the triceps and elbow. In the last 36 hours or so my arm has begun to tingle and feel like it is falling asleep. However, I still have full strength in it and can lift things. My question is that is there any possibility that this could be a stroke?


Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

The symptoms you describe do not sound typical for a stroke. A stroke would not be expected to cause pain and soreness. Numbness may occur, whereas tingling typically does not. I think it is more likely that you have a pinched nerve in the neck region. An MRI of the cervical spine (neck region) would help detect this. A nerve conduction and electromyogram would also help localize the problem. You should check in with your doctor, or seek the help of a Neurologist, for further assistance.

Good luck!