Arm pain – symptoms, preventions, causes, and treatment

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Arm pain is a pain experienced throughout or anywhere in the arm. At times, the pain may extend to areas like the wrist, elbow and shoulder.

Arm pain is caused due to multiple reasons. The most common cause is an injury or improper use of the arms. The pain may start suddenly and disappear gradually depending on the root cause of the pain.

Common symptoms of arm pain

The symptoms of arm pain are determined based on the cause. These symptoms include

  • Swelling
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm
  • Arm redness
  • Stiffness

What are the causes of Arm pain?

Causes of arm pain arise due to a bunch of reasons. Possible causes of arm pain are

  • Sprains
  • Tendonitis
  • Broken bones
  • Heart attack
  • Angina
  • Pinched nerves


Sprains are a common injury that involves stretching of the ligaments. Common symptoms of sprains include swelling, bruising and an unstable joint.


Tendonitis is an inflammation caused in the tendon. It commonly occurs in places like elbows, shoulders and wrists. Tendonitis ranges from mild to severe.

Broken bones

Broken or fractured bones can cause immense and intolerable pain in your arm. You may hear a broken sound when the bone breaks. Symptoms include

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Severe pain
  • A visible deformity

Heart attack

Heart attacks occur when the flow of the heart’s oxygen blood is deterred due to a blockage in between. This paralysis the heart muscle and gradually stops its function. A person experiences a heart attack when he undergoes any of the underlying symptoms

  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Breathlessness
  • Pain in any area of the upper body
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness


Angina is a pain caused in the chest that occurs when your heart isn’t receiving sufficient oxygen. Angina ascertains a person who is diagnosed with a heart problem. Other symptoms can include

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness

Pinched nerves

Pinched nerves occur due to overpressure in the nerve and its surrounding.

  • Bones
  • Muscle
  • Cartilage
  • Tendons

Common symptoms include

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Sharp pain
  • Muscle weakness

How to diagnose Arm pain?

A doctor’s examination is essential to diagnose the cause of the arm pain. First, your health history will be monitored and the doctor may suggest a physical exam after examining the causes, symptoms, and severity of the injury. The following tests are needed for the diagnosis.

  • Your doctor will test your arms by asking you to lift your arms to evaluate the motion of your arm movement. By doing this, doctors can determine the location and cause of potential injuries.
  • Sometimes arm pain is caused due to complications of diabetes. Blood tests can help doctors figure out whether diabetes causes arm pain.
  • X-rays are used to determine broken or fractured bones.
  • After a doctor’s consultation, you can use OTC pain killers like aspirin or ibuprofen to recover from your arm pain.
  • Technology like Ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans are widely employed by all lab technicians to detect problems with joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Treatments for arm pain

Treatments for arm pain include the following

Pain medication

Pain medications are recommended by the doctors only if the severity of the pain is high.

Anti-inflammatory medications

For pain due to inflammation, anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids are used to heal and reduce the pain of the arms. These drugs are available as medications, injections, and oral drugs.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is recommended if your arm has a lower range of motion.


Surgery is performed only when the medications fail to respond. For example, torn ligaments and broken bones.

OTC pain killers

If your doctor confirms your arm pain is linked with potential heart complications, then they may also evaluate the functioning of your heart.

Home remedies

Some of the home remedies for arm pain are


Sometimes, a deep sleep and complete rest will solve most of your problems. Take care and monitor the pain area and avoid hard stretches and exercises.


Icing on injuries is an ancient practice that has been done for ages and can also be used to mitigate swelling and inflammation. Cover an ice pack in a towel, and slowly massage on the pain area for about 20 minutes.

Stretches and exercise

If you suffer from arm problems, try to do a little bit of arm stretches and arm workouts, so that your arm muscles may experience motion. As a result of this, your arm pain may heal faster.

Summing up

In many cases, arm pain occurs due to malfunctioning of the arms that may be due to pain and injury. Follow these tips to see better results for your arm pain.

  • Stretch regularly before and after exercise
  • Make sure to follow the advice and do correct exercises
  • While playing sports, try to protect your arms by using arm guards
  • Stay fit
  • Be scrupulous in lifting objects


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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