What Could Be Causing My Arm Pain?

Source: Mayo Clinic

Arm pain occurs when there is pain or discomfort anywhere along the arm, including the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Pain may come and go depending on the cause, which can range from compressed nerves to joint injuries. In some cases, arm pain may originate in the upper spine or neck. Arm pain that occurs in the left arm may be a sign of a heart attack.


Symptoms of arm pain may include swelling, stiffness, or redness of the arm. Arm pain may also result as a swollen lymph node under the arm. Depending on the cause, arm pain may begin in other areas of the body and radiate into the arm region to include the shoulder, neck, back, wrist, and surrounding nerves.

Possible Causes

Arm pain may be caused by the following:

  • A pinched nerve
  • A broken bone
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Sprains
  • Heart attack
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Angina
  • Tennis elbow

Treatment Options

Treatment options will vary depending on the cause. Some common forms of treatment may include taking painkillers prescribed from a doctor, anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids, injections and intravenous medications, or physical therapy. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases such as when there is a broken bone or torn ligament.

Home remedies may include resting your arm, icing it, using a warm compression, or taking over-the-counter medications. Elevating the arm can also help reduce pain as it decreases the amount of blood flow to the nerves that send pain signals to the brain, resulting in a decrease perception of pain. Anti-inflammatory essential oils can also be used to massage into the painful area.

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