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What could cause a bruise feeling in my upper and outer left arm without any sort of accident?

Aside from the feeling of having a bad bruise for the last 3-4 days, it hurts if I rub it, hurts a little if I prop my head up with that arm while laying on my side, and hurts while I'm adding a little weight to get up but doesn't hurt when the arm is fully extended with the full weight of pushing myself up. Today after rubbing it for a minute, the pain seemed to disappear for a moment, only to return with a throbbing moderate pain (stronger than the bruise feel) and now just a consistent but mild ache. If it makes a difference, I'm a 26 year old female. Please assist, I can't find any information that matches this. Thanks in advance
It sounds like this is a rather significant change from your baseline health status. Whenever you notice this kind of change, particularly when it persists for more than a day or two, the best thing to do is to see your physician right away. In your case, it sounds like it is probably best to start with your primary care physician. He or she can ask you more questions about your activity or any changes in your routine in the last several days that could have caused these symptoms. It will be important to know if you fell, were carrying heavy objects, or started any new activities (exercise, sports) that could have put additional stress on your arms. Then, it will be very important to examine the arm. You state that it feels like a bruise, but it will be important to note if there are any skin changes or any mobility restrictions. It is also important to note exactly where in the arm you are feeling pain, ie is this the forearm or the upper arm? Does the pain extend into your elbow, shoulder, or wrist? Do any of the tendon insertions into the bone feel tender? Are your reflexes and neurologic exam intact? If there are no skin changes consistent with a true bruise, then you may have developed either an injury of the bone (such as a stress fracture) or possibly a tendon or ligament problem. A deep muscle bruise can also sometimes not have any changes visible on the skin. Overall, it is important to start with your primary care physician so that he or she can evaluate you and consider whether further imaging or a referral are important.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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