Arm pain can be anything from mild discomfort to an unbearable pain in both or either of the upper extremities. The nature of the pain is sharp or dull, intermittent or constant, burning or cramping. Arm pain can be referred to as a pain in the upper limb, arm, extremity. Older individuals are prone to develop the arm pain as they lose the muscle mass with age. Children are even prone to develop arm problems as they are more active compared to adults and their muscles and bone are actively growing. The causes for developing arm problems in children are the same as that of the adults.
What Are The Various Causes Of Arm Pain?
A host of factors can result in arm pain, from the joint injuries to the compressed nerves as well as by the overuse of an arm. It is caused by irritation, inflammation or injuredmuscles, skin, joints, and bones. Daily activities such as playing sports, writing, lifting of heavy objects, working with the tools and exercising can result in arm pain.
The different causes of arm pain are angina, arthritis, bone cancer, broken bone, stings/bug bites, abrasion, brachial plexus, cervical spinal stenosis, elbow dislocation, neuralgia, infection, skin abscess, tendinitis, tumour etc. Arm pain can be caused by ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ which is brought about by ongoing compression or intermittent pressure of median nerve. Stiffness or soreness in forearm or elbow joint along with the intermittent sharp pain can be caused due to ‘tennis elbow’, which is a condition brought about by the inflammation of tendons which attach to the outer part of the elbow joint.
What are the Symptoms of Arm Pain?
The symptoms that develop in arm pain can be anything from arm stiffness, redness, swelling to tenderness and inflamed underarm lymph glands. The symptoms that occur as a result of the arm pain due to heart disease include nausea, excessive sweating, palpitations, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, and fainting.
How to Treat Arm Pain?
Treatment of arm pain depends on the underlying causes. Those with compressed nerve or nerve damage in the wrist, arm, hand or elbow must avoid repetitive movements and should take regular breaks.
Those suffering from extreme arm pain due to exertion or overuse could try to reduce the arm pain with home remedies. You could provide relief to swollen elbow, arm, shoulder or wrist with the use of a sling and ice packs.
The treatment includes anything from elevation, rest, the use of elastic wrap, sling or split, cold compresses to the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs depending on the underlying cause. Pain due to infection can be relieved with antibiotics andair compresses. The other treatments for reducing the arm pain includes ice, rest, stretching, pain relievers.
Self-care for Reducing Arm Pain at Home Makes Use of the RICE Acronym:
- Rest: Taking a break from the normal activities
- Ice: Placing the frozen peas bag or ice pack on the inflamed area for about 15-20 minutes thrice a day
- Compression: Making use of the compression bandage for lowering swelling
- Elevation: The elevation of the arm over the heart level for lowering swelling
Arm pain can be excruciating and hence treatment on time is needed.