learn more about arm pain
Arm pain, including sore muscles, are quite common and could include pain on your elbows, shoulders, or wrists. This is often due to overuse or everyday wear and tear but can also be caused by injuries or trauma to the blood vessels, bones, joints, nerves, or the skin. It can also be due to an underlying condition or an infection.
The aching may be brief or constant. It could also be on a particular area such as your lower or upper arm, the joints, the shoulder, or it may affect the entire limb. Depending on its cause, it may be piercing, achy, or tingly.
Help with Arm Pain and Injuries
As mentioned, it has various causes, which determines how we will treat it.
Common Causes of Arm Pain
- Overuse: this is mostly due to overdoing an activity or repetitive motion. Overuse may stress joints and tissues, thus causing inflammation on the tendons or on the bursae. The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that surround the joints. Inflammation on the tendons is referred to as tendonitis, while that of the bursae known as bursitis. Repetitive motion causes a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Acute injuries: these may be as a result of penetrating injuries, direct blows, of falls that may cause abnormal bending, jamming, jerking, or twisting of the limb. In most cases, acute injuries require immediate medical attention.
- Rotator cuff injuries: the rotator cuff is the part where the upper-arm joins the shoulder. Repeated overhead motions and age may result in a rotator cuff injury. This injury may manifest as general weakness or a dull ache or severe and constant aching.
- Other causes: you may also be experiencing distress due to an injury to another part of the body, such as a slipped disc. Pinched nerves may also result in a painful ache.
When Should You be Concerned About Arm Pain and Injury
After an accident or a fall, any bruising, stiffness, or swelling in any part of the limb may be a sign of a sprain. Visible abnormalities such as bending of the limb or a protruding bone accompanied by intense distress could signify a broken bone.
Difficulties in moving the limb and intense aching could be due to a dislocated elbow or shoulder. Such may result from falls. Shoulder dislocations are common among the elderly.
Sudden and severe arm pain that is accompanied by a squeezing or fullness of the chest may be a sign of a heart attack. It can be confused with angina, which is a diminished flow of blood to the heart. However, it is caused by exertion and is characterized by symptoms such as arm pain and chest discomfort. Angina gets better with rest.
How is Arm Pain and Injury Treated?
Fortunately, aches and injuries respond very well to treatment or physical therapy when you seek early assessment and treatment. The treatment option we prescribe depends on the cause and severity. For less severe pains and or injuries, we may prescribe over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. We may also recommend lots of rest and drinking plenty of water in case it is due to muscle cramps.
The specialists at North Texas Medical Center may recommend such other treatments as:
- Alternative treatments that may include chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, or massage
- Physical therapy such as exercises and electrical nerve stimulation
- Spinal cord stimulation
Should it be caused by a condition better handled by a specialist, we will refer you to our Orthopedic Clinic. With the right prognosis and treatment, most arm pains and injuries respond to treatment. If you are experiencing any arm pains or injuries, get in touch with us at 940-612-8840.
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1902 Hospital Blvd, Suite A
Gainesville, Tx 76240
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Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.