Arm pain is discomfort or pain in the arm, starting from the wrist, elbow, to the shoulder.
The causes of arm pain vary. However, the most common is due to injury or overuse of the arm for heavy activities. The pain can appear suddenly and disappear or even more pain gradually depending on the cause.
Causes of arm pain
Some causes of arm pain include:
1. Pinched nerve
Occurs when nerves are compressed by the structure of bones, muscles, cartilages or tendons. Symptoms that appear are a sense of being punctured, numbness, pain like being cut, weak muscles, arms like electrocuted.
2. Arm Sprained
Occurs when the ligaments or tendons in the arms are stretched or torn due to injury. Symptoms of a sprain in the arm include swelling in the arm, injury, and limited joint movement.
Mild arm sprains can be treated alone at home. However, if classified as heavy, usually requires surgery to restore it.
3. Arm Tendonitis
It often happens to people whose activities involve head movements, such as painters or baseball players. Symptoms of arm tendonitis include aching in the shoulder and arm muscles are weaker than usual.
4. Broken arm bones
Broken arm bones can cause very painful arm pain. A number of symptoms of arm fractures include swelling, bruising, severe pain, changes in the shape of the area involved, to difficulty turning the palm of the hand.
Read More: Broken Arm Children
5. Arm Arthritis
Arm Arthritis is a chronic condition caused by inflammation that affects the arm joint directly. Some of the symptoms of joints feel warm and soft, swollen, stiff, and easily tired.
Angina is a sensation of chest pain that occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen. Angina is often a sign of heart problems.
This condition can cause pain in your arms and shoulders, such as feeling depressed on your chest, neck and back. Other symptoms are chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
7. Heart attack
Occurs when there is a blockage in the heart so that the blood supply containing oxygen becomes disrupted. If left unchecked, the heart muscle can gradually die if it does not immediately get oxygen supply again.
When you have a heart attack, you may experience pain in both arms, shortness of breath, upper body pain, nausea, cold sweat, chest pain, and dizziness.
Diagnosis of arm pain
Before determining the treatment of arm pain, the arm pain specialist will find out the cause of arm pain that you experience first. As a first step, the doctor will ask about your medical history, the activities you just did, and the symptoms that you have experienced.
Arm pain test include:
Perform simple movements, to evaluate the scope of the movement and determine the location and cause of injury.
Blood tests can help detect some causes of arm pain such as diabetes or certain conditions that cause inflammation in the joints.
X-ray helps doctors diagnose broken or fractured bones.
Electrocardiographic test (heart record), if arm pain is suspected to be due to heart complications.
Ultrasound with high frequency sound waves, to detect problems in the joints, ligaments and tendons.
MRI and CT scan, to get a specific picture of soft tissue and bone.
Arm Pain Treatments
Treatment of arm pain will be given based on each cause. Here’s how to treat arm pain according to the cause:
Painkillers to relieve pain in the arms that are quite severe. Follow the dosage and rules of taking medication from a doctor.
Physical therapy if you have limited movement due to arm pain.
Surgery to repair ligaments that are torn or broken bones.
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