A leading problem suffered by many, arm pain can leave you with discomfort and immobility. The pain can occur in the wrist, elbow and even shoulder due to various reasons. The main reasons can be injury, and in some cases, it can even be a symptom of a heart attack. However, if your cardiac health is good and if you are still suffering from arm pain, you might need to read this to educate yourself on its causes.
What Causes Arm Pain?
Arm pain can occur due to many reasons, such as muscle abnormality, muscle, bone, joint, nerves, or even blood vessel injury. The pain can affect your entire arm or even some parts of it for a short or a long time.
Some probable causes of your arm pain
There are several reasons why arm pain occurs.
Here are the top reasons with its symptoms for your arm pain:
An injury can result in damage your to ligaments (a sprain) or your muscles (a strain). Strains and sprains are one of the most common injuries and can be a prominent reason for your arm pain. It is important to take care of yourself and give the required downtime and rest until you fully recover. There are many treatments available for strains and sprains that can be practiced at home, yet it is always suggested to take the expert’s advice and consult your doctor for the same.
- Limited joint mobility
- Muscle spasm
Rotator cuff injury
Rotator cuff is a part of your shoulder, which is made up of muscles and tendons. It allows the shoulder to move or stay in place. Tendons inside the rotator cuff begin to wear off or tear as we age.
This injury occurs in a certain group of people such as painters, basketball or baseball players as they tend to perform overhead motions in their day to day life which may trigger the pain and injury.
- Dull ache to severe arm pain
- Arm weakness
A broken bone needs immediate medical attention and the pain it causes can be intense. If you feel a sharp pain and an audible snap, you may have broken a bone, which has to be shown to a doctor immediately.
- A visible deformity
- Severe pain
- Inability to make movements
A chest pain that occurs when your heart is not getting the required amount of oxygen. This can cause severe pain in your left arm and shoulder, and also causes a feeling of pressure to your chest, neck and back. Angina usually indicates heart issues and that you need to see a doctor.
This is a typical pain and soreness that usually occurs after a rigorous activity and physical workout at the gym. Starting to lift weights and doing heavy physical activities can be challenging during the initial phases of your exercises regimen. The discomfort may last for around 24 to 48 hours , is perfectly normal and can be healed by taking care of yourself at home, giving rest and adding the needed nutrition into your diet for it to heal itself.
- Typical muscle pain
- Heaviness on your arms and shoulders
- Difficulty in making physical movements
This occurs when our tendons are inflamed and it usually occurs in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. It can cause you mild to severe pain. An instance of tendinitis is “tennis elbow.” You may feel the pain in your wrist, elbow, or shoulder. It may be the result of an injury or – more frequently – overuse.
- Dull and aching pain
A heart attack is a lethal and life threatening occurrence. It occurs when blood is unable to get to the heart due to a blockage that obstructs the heart’s oxygen supply.
- Pain in one or both the arms
- Pain in your chest, shoulder
- Cold sweat
- Shortness of breath
In certain cases, you cannot trace the pain in your arm to a physical injury or overuse. It could be the result of diseased arteries in the upper part of the body. It might also be causes by:
- Pinched nerve: This occurs when tissues or bones in your neck, elbow, or shoulder compress or press against a nerve. It causes weakness, numbness, pain and tingling.
- Herniated disk: This happens when one of the disks in the neck ruptures. This could cause a weakness, burning pain, tingling and or burning in the arms.
- Autoimmune diseases: Some of these conditions like lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain in the arms as well.
When to See a Doctor?
This completely depends on the severity of your arm pain and discomfort. If the arm pain mellows down at home with required rest, R.I.C.E therapy and a healthy diet, you do not need to worry. However, if it does not, you should visit to your doctor
How to prevent Arm Pain?
Muscular arm pain can be avoided through stretching, which can act as a preventive measure to lessen the strain and pressure on your arm. You also need to be mindful of using both your hands equally, avoid making the same hand and arm movements over and over again. With pre and post workout warmup and stretches, you can avoid a sports injury in the arm.
Your treatment completely depends on the cause and it can start with common medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen. Apart from medications and doctor’s instructions, you may also focus on self-care at home and consider drinking a good amount of water to reduce muscle cramps, having cold or ice pack compressions, warm bath or showers, and resting your arm.
Arm pain can cause many complications and it can progress if not treated. A typical or mild arm pain will return to normalcy with the help of R.I.C.E method or taking anti-inflammatory medications at home. However, its intensity and duration plays a huge role in determining if it can be ignored or given immediate medical care.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the reason for my arm pain?
Arm pain has many causes, it can happen because of a traumatic injury as well as an underlying condition such as arthritis or others. It is important to find the root cause and your doctor will help you understand the same.
Will the doctor provide me with proper treatment?
The doctor will diagnose and screen your physical health and offer you medication and suitable treatment according to the intensity and cause of your pain. The doctor will also give you mild physical activities to perform that will help you get back to your normal self.
What if my arm pain has an underlying root cause?
If the situation is such, our experienced medical practitioners will recognize it and ask you to undergo the required tests and examinations that will help diagnosis.
Are there any therapies I can perform at home?
There are several therapies that you can perform at home as directed by your physician or therapist such as stretching, slight mobilizations, or elevation of the affected area.