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"I feel shocks being sent down my arm, should I be concerned?"

ZocdocAnswersI feel shocks being sent down my arm, should I be concerned?


A week ago I had my blood drawn. When the lady stuck the needle in my arm, a shock was sent from that spot down to my finger tips. I asked her about it and she said she must have hit a nerve and that it wasn't a big deal. Since then, if I move my arm in the wrong way, a shock is sent down my arm. This happens quite often throughout the day. A couple days ago, it started to become painful sometimes. And throughout the week since getting my blood drawn, the shocks have become more frequent. Is this something that will continue to get worse and I should be concerned about? Or will it go away soon?


It sounds like you may have suffered from a peripheral nerve injury, but please speak with your primary care physician for further evaluation. These kinds of injuries are fairly common even with an aberrant needle stick. In most cases a simple peripheral nerve injury from a needle stick will get better over the course of a few days to a few weeks. It would be quite rare for an injury such as this to be permanent. The reason for this is that peripheral nerves have a great ability to heal. If I were taking care of a patient with this complaint, if the problem persisted for more than a month or six weeks, I would consider getting a test such as an EMG/NCS (electromyogram and nerve conduction studies) to determine the extent of the damage. I might also consider getting a CT scan of cervical spine to make sure that there wasn't a pinched nerve in the neck causing symptoms. Finally, if the pain persisted I would probably treat it with the medication such as Gabapentin. For this problem, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for further evaluation. If the problem is persistent or if the EMG is required, then your doctor might refer you to a neurologist.

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