10 doctors weighed in:

I've been diagnosed with impingement syndrome in the rotator cuff, but the real pain is about 8 inches lower in the upper arm muscle. I'm 50 yr female?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Allen Lu
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: Referred pain

The nerves that supply the rotator cuff comes from the neck at the c5 and c6 levels.
The same nerves supply the skin around the side of the upper arm. Since your brain is unable to process pain coming from the rotator cuff tendons, it interprets the pain as coming from the area of those nerves, or the skin from the nerves. This is called referred pain.

In brief: Referred pain

The nerves that supply the rotator cuff comes from the neck at the c5 and c6 levels.
The same nerves supply the skin around the side of the upper arm. Since your brain is unable to process pain coming from the rotator cuff tendons, it interprets the pain as coming from the area of those nerves, or the skin from the nerves. This is called referred pain.
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Lu
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Dr. Theodore Shybut
Sports Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sounds about right

Pain from injury or conditions of the shoulder and rotator cuff are commonly experienced as referred pain to the lateral deltoid (side of the arm ).
This is related to how the axillary nerve travels around the shoulder joint, is akin to how sciatica leg pain is caused by disorders of the lumber spine and to hear attacks causing arm pain even though the problem is in the heart not the arm.

In brief: Sounds about right

Pain from injury or conditions of the shoulder and rotator cuff are commonly experienced as referred pain to the lateral deltoid (side of the arm ).
This is related to how the axillary nerve travels around the shoulder joint, is akin to how sciatica leg pain is caused by disorders of the lumber spine and to hear attacks causing arm pain even though the problem is in the heart not the arm.
Dr. Theodore Shybut
Dr. Theodore Shybut
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Dr. Brian Badman
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Its how you are wire

Shoulder pain or pain from the rotator cuff is typically referred to the mid and outer arm. Its how we are wired and how the nerves refer pain.
Very similiar to how the left arm hurts with a heart attack. All in all this is very typical of this type of diagnosis.

In brief: Its how you are wire

Shoulder pain or pain from the rotator cuff is typically referred to the mid and outer arm. Its how we are wired and how the nerves refer pain.
Very similiar to how the left arm hurts with a heart attack. All in all this is very typical of this type of diagnosis.
Dr. Brian Badman
Dr. Brian Badman
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Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Protect yourself

You possibly have a sprain or tear of the rotator cuff.
You can help the pain with nsaids. Physical therapy is helpful. You should try and exercise the arm through stiffness but not through pain. The goal is to allow it to heal and avoid stiffness. Only rarely is surgery needed and usually is needed in those who try and move things too fast.

In brief: Protect yourself

You possibly have a sprain or tear of the rotator cuff.
You can help the pain with nsaids. Physical therapy is helpful. You should try and exercise the arm through stiffness but not through pain. The goal is to allow it to heal and avoid stiffness. Only rarely is surgery needed and usually is needed in those who try and move things too fast.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
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Dr. Zubin Khubchandani
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Referred pain

Very common for shoulder impingement to cause pain further down the arm.

In brief: Referred pain

Very common for shoulder impingement to cause pain further down the arm.
Dr. Zubin Khubchandani
Dr. Zubin Khubchandani
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Dr. Charles Toman
Sports Medicine

In brief: This is typical

This is very common with rotator cuff injuries and tendonitis.
People complain of pain in the area between the shoulder and elbow. People also complain of night pain and difficulty elevating the arm.

In brief: This is typical

This is very common with rotator cuff injuries and tendonitis.
People complain of pain in the area between the shoulder and elbow. People also complain of night pain and difficulty elevating the arm.
Dr. Charles Toman
Dr. Charles Toman
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