Arm pain is described as any discomfort or pain felt along the length of the arm. Wrist, elbow, and shoulder pain are all possible symptoms.
Arm pain can be caused by a number of things. Injury or overuse are the most typical causes. The pain may begin suddenly and then fade away, or it may progressively worsen, depending on the cause. Numbness, redness, swelling, tenderness, or stiffness of the joints may accompany arm discomfort, depending on the location and cause.
The symptoms that can accompany arm pain will depend on the cause. They may include:
- arm redness
- swollen lymph nodes under the arm
Causes of Arm Pain
Possible causes of arm pain include:
- Broken arm
- Heart attack
- Broken wrist
- Ulnar nerve entrapment
- Dislocated elbow
- Rotator cuff injury
- Cervical disk herniation
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Brachial plexus injury
- Angina (reduced blood flow to the heart)
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
Treatment of Arm Pain
The cause of pain determines the modality of treatment. Treatments for arm pain can include the following:
- Pain medication. For some cases, pain in the arm may be severe enough that your doctor will prescribe pain medication.
- Anti-inflammatory medications. For pain due to inflammation, anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids can help reduce the underlying cause and the subsequent pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs are available as oral medications, injections, and intravenous medications.
- Physical therapy. You may need to treat some arm pain with physical therapy, particularly when you have a limited range of motion.
- Surgery. In severe cases of arm pain, surgery may be necessary. Examples include torn ligaments and broken bones.