See a Doctor or Handle Yourself When You Have This Arm Pain

Source: Mayo Clinic

Many people experience arm pain and think little of it, especially if they are active and perform strenuous activities with the upper body. However, there are circumstances of arm pain in which you should see a doctor, specifically when you should: seek emergency treatment, see a doctor promptly, schedule an office visit, or perform self-care.

Seek emergency treatment…

  • If you experience arm, back, or shoulder pain that occurs suddenly, is exceptionally severe, or is supplemented with pressure, fullness, or tightness in the chest, you should seek emergency treatment immediately as this may indicate a heart attack.
  • Another reason to seek emergency treatment is if there is a protruding bone in your wrist or arm, another obvious deformity, or if you have excessive bleeding or another injury.

See your doctor promptly if…

  • You experience difficulty moving your arm ordinarily or twisting your arm from the position of palm down to palm up and vice versa
  • Excruciating pain and/or swelling present in your arm
  • An abrupt injury to your arm, in particular if you can hear a cracking or snapping sound
  • Back, arm, or shoulder pain that crops up with any kind of exertion and is subsequently relieved by rest. This symptom may signal heart disease or angina

Schedule an office visit if…

  • Pain in the arm that does not cease despite taking over-the-counter painkillers and/or icing the region of discomfort
  • Increasing pain, swelling, or redness in the affected area


Even considerable arm injuries can be initially relieved with treatment at home. If you believe that you have a broken wrist or arm, you should apply ice to the affected region and utilize a sling to assist in immobilizing your arm until you can see a doctor.

If you have a repetitive strain injury or compressed nerve, be unfailing in your therapy; sustain proper posture; take repeated breaks during tedious activities and at work.

Most common types of arm pain may improve over time on their own, in particular if you begin the R.I.C.E. method promptly following the onset of injury.

  • REST. Take a break
  • ICE. Apply ice to the sore area three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes each time
  • COMPRESSION. Compression bandages can be utilized to aid in the reduction of swelling
  • ELEVATION. If possible, lift up your arm above the heart to lessen swelling
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