May 3, 2016

Arm Pain

MedicineNet - Arm Pain

Arm Pain Symptoms & Signs

Medical Author:

Related
Symptoms & Signs

Pain in the arm can result from a number of factors. Abnormalities or injury of the skin, nerves, bones, joints, blood vessels, and soft tissues of the arm can all result in pain. Arm pain, depending on the location and cause, may be accompanied by numbness, redness, swelling, tenderness, or stiffness of the joints. Sometimes diseases that affect other organs in the body, like peripheral vascular disease or arthritis, can be the cause of pain in the arm. Causes of arm pain range from mild annoyances to severe and potentially life-threatening occurrences, such as chest pain from myocardial infarction (heart attack) and angina pectoris that may radiate (spread) to the arm area. The pain of a heart attack can be accompanied by nausea, difficulty breathing, a sense of pressure on the chest, and other symptoms. Treatments for arm pain depend on the underlying cause.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/7/2016

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2015.

Causes of Arm Pain
    • Angina Angina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Angina Article
      • What is angina?
      • What causes angina?
      • What are the different types of angina?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of angina?
      • How is angina diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for angina?
      • Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery
      • What are other methods are used to evaluate angina?
      • What is the prognosis for angina?
      • Can angina be prevented?
    • Arthritis Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness...learn more »
      In This Article
      Arthritis Article
      • Arthritis facts
      • What is arthritis? What causes arthritis?
      • What are risk factors for arthritis?
      • What are arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • Who is affected by arthritis?
      • How is arthritis diagnosed, and why is a diagnosis important?
      • What is the treatment for arthritis?
      • Is there an arthritis diet?
      • What are the prognosis (outlook) for arthritis, and what are arthritis complications?
      • Can arthritis be prevented?
      • What is a rheumatologist?
      • What is the Arthritis Foundation?
    • Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures such as compressed, open, stress, greenstick, spiral,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) Article
      • What is a broken bone (fracture)?
      • What causes a broken bone?
      • What are the most common types of broken bones?
      • Compression fracture
      • Skull fracture
      • Stress fracture
      • What are the most common bones that are broken?
      • Broken hand or fingers
      • Broken wrist
      • Broken hip
      • Broken leg
      • Broken toe
      • Broken shoulder
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a broken bone?
      • When should I call a doctor if I think I have broken a bone?
      • How is a broken bone diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a broken bone?
      • What about surgery for a broken bone?
      • How can fractures be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for a broken bone?
    • Bug Bites and Stings Bug bites and stings have been known to transmit insect-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Bug Bites and Stings Article
      • Bug bites and stings facts*
      • Bug bites and stings introduction
      • What can I do to keep insects away?
      • What's the proper way to use insect repellent?
      • What's the best way to remove a bee stinger?
      • What should I do if I find a tick on me or my child?
      • What can be done for itching and pain from bites and stings?
      • When is medical attention needed?
      • Where can I find more information on bug bites and stings?
    • Burns (First Aid) Burns are categorized by severity as first, second, or third degree. First degree burns are similar to a painful sunburn. The...learn more »
      In This Article
      Burns (First Aid) Article
      • Introduction to burns
      • How are burns classified?
      • What is the significance of the amount of body area burned?
      • How important is the location of a burn?
      • What about electrical burns?
      • What about chemical burns?
      • First aid for burns
    • Bursitis A bursa is a fluid-filled sac found in the joints that cusions them. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, most commonly...learn more »
      In This Article
      Bursitis Article
      • Bursitis Overview
      • Bursitis Causes
      • Bursitis Symptoms and Signs
      • When to Seek Medical Care
      • Bursitis Diagnosis
      • Bursitis Treatment
      • Bursitis Home Remedies
      • Medical Treatment
      • Follow-up
      • Bursitis Prevention
      • Bursitis Prognosis
      • Bursitis Pictures
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which irritation of the wrist's median nerve causes tingling and numbness of the thumb,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Article
      • Carpal tunnel syndrome facts
      • What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
      • What conditions and diseases cause carpal tunnel syndrome?
      • What are carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms?
      • What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome?
      • What is the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome? Is it possible to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?
      • What are complications of carpal tunnel syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis for carpal tunnel syndrome?
      • Which specialists are involved in the care of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome?
    • Cellulitis Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth,...learn more »
    • DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis DeQuervain's tenosynovitis is inflammation of the tendon on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. DeQuervain's...learn more »
      In This Article
      DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis Article
      • What is De Quervain's tenosynovitis?
      • What are symptoms of De Quervain's tenosynovitis?
      • How is De Quervain's tenosynovitis diagnosed?
      • How is De Quervain's tenosynovitis treated?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) with De Quervain's tenosynovitis?
    • Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress...learn more »
      In This Article
      Fibromyalgia Article
      • Fibromyalgia facts
      • What is fibromyalgia?
      • What causes fibromyalgia?
      • Is fibromyalgia hereditary?
      • What are risk factors for fibromyalgia?
      • What are fibromyalgia symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose fibromyalgia?
      • What is the treatment for fibromyalgia?
      • Are there any home remedies for fibromyalgia?
      • Does diet or exercise affect fibromyalgia?
      • What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia?
      • Is it possible to prevent fibromyalgia?
      • Are there support groups for fibromyalgia?
      • What is the latest research on fibromyalgia?
    • Gout (Gouty Arthritis) Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...learn more »
    • Head and Neck Cancer Head and neck cancer is cancer of the oral cavity, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, or lymph...learn more »
      In This Article
      Head and Neck Cancer Article
      • Head and neck cancer facts*
      • What is cancer?
      • What kinds of cancers are considered cancers of the head and neck?
      • How common are head and neck cancers?
      • What causes head and neck cancers?
      • What are common symptoms of head and neck cancers?
      • How are head and neck cancers diagnosed?
      • What health professionals treat patients with head and neck cancers?
      • How are head and neck cancers treated?
      • Are clinical trials (research studies) available for patients with head and neck cancers?
      • What rehabilitation or support options are available for patients with head and neck cancers?
      • Is follow-up treatment necessary? What does it involve?
      • What can people who have had head and neck cancer do to reduce the risk of developing a second primary (new) cancer?
    • Heart Attack Heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Attack Article
      • Heart attack facts
      • What is a heart attack?
      • What causes a heart attack?
      • What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
      • What are the complications of a heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attack?
      • How is a heart attack diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for heart attack in women?
      • What are the symptoms of heart attack in women and how is heart attack diagnosed?
      • How is heart attack in women treated?
      • What about hormone therapy and heart attack in women?
      • What is new in heart attack?
    • Heart Attack Treatment A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Attack Treatment Article
      • What is a heart attack?
      • How is a heart attack treated?
      • Antiplatelet agents
      • Aspirin
      • Thienopyridines
      • Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors
      • Anticoagulants
      • Clot-dissolving drugs
      • Coronary angiography and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
      • Coronary artery stents
      • Nitrates
      • Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
      • Beta blockers
      • Oxygen
      • Coronary artery bypass
      • What can a patient expect during recovery from a heart attack?
      • How can a second heart attack be prevented?
    • Herniated Disc A herniated disc may be caused by injury or degeneration from age. Symptoms depend on the location of the herniation and whether...learn more »
      In This Article
      Herniated Disc Article
      • Herniated disc facts
      • How are the spine and its discs designed?
      • What is a herniated disc? What causes it?
      • What are symptoms of a herniated disc?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose a herniated disc?
      • What is the treatment for a herniated disc?
      • What are home remedies for a herniated disc?
      • What exercises and stretches can be done for a herniated disc?
      • What kind of health-care professionals treat herniated discs?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for a herniated disc?
      • Is it possible to prevent a herniated disc?
    • Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. Potential causes include injections around the bone, fractures that puncture the skin,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Osteomyelitis Article
      • Osteomyelitis facts
      • What is osteomyelitis?
      • What causes osteomyelitis?
      • What are osteomyelitis symptoms and signs?
      • How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for osteomyelitis?
      • What is the prognosis for osteomyelitis?
    • Peripheral Neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the functioning of the nerves outside of the spinal cord. Symptoms may include numbness,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Peripheral Neuropathy Article
      • Peripheral neuropathy facts
      • What is peripheral neuropathy?
      • What causes peripheral neuropathy?
      • What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
      • How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?
      • Is there any treatment for peripheral neuropathy?
      • Can peripheral neuropathy be prevented?
    • Peripheral Vascular Disease Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Peripheral Vascular Disease Article
      • Peripheral vascular disease facts
      • What is peripheral vascular disease?
      • What is atherosclerosis?
      • How does atherosclerosis cause disease?
      • What are potential complications of peripheral artery disease?
      • What are the other causes of peripheral vascular diseases?
      • Who is at risk for peripheral artery disease?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of peripheral artery disease?
      • How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?
      • What are the treatments for peripheral artery disease?
      • Lifestyle changes
      • Supervised exercise
      • Peripheral vascular disease medications
      • Angioplasty for peripheral vascular disease
      • Surgery for peripheral vascular disease
    • Pinched Nerve A pinched nerve causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area due to pressure on a nerve. Caral tunnel and sciatica are...learn more »
    • Polymyalgia Rheumatica Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder of the muscles and joints that causes pain and stiffness in the arms, neck, shoulders,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Polymyalgia Rheumatica Article
      • Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis facts
      • What is polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What causes polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What are symptoms and signs of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • How is polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • Can polymyalgia be prevented?
      • What are complications of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is giant cell arteritis?
      • What causes giant cell arteritis?
      • What are symptoms of giant cell arteritis?
      • How is giant cell arteritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for giant cell arteritis?
      • What is the prognosis for patients with giant cell arteritis?
      • Can giant cell arteritis be prevented?
      • What are complications of giant cell arteritis?
    • Psoriatic Arthritis Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Psoriatic Arthritis Article
      • Psoriatic arthritis facts
      • What is psoriatic arthritis?
      • What causes psoriatic arthritis?
      • What are risk factors for developing psoriatic arthritis?
      • What are psoriatic arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • How does a doctor diagnose psoriatic arthritis?
      • What is the treatment for psoriatic arthritis?
      • Disease-modifying medications for psoriatic arthritis
      • What are psoriatic arthritis complications?
      • What is the prognosis of psoriatic arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent psoriatic arthritis?
      • Is there a psoriatic arthritis diet? Are there home remedies for psoriatic arthritis?
      • What types of doctors treat psoriatic arthritis?
      • What does the future hold for patients with psoriatic arthritis?
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Article
      • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) facts
      • What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis vs. osteoarthritis
      • What are causes and risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are complications of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and signs? What does rheumatoid arthritis feel like?
      • What tests do physicians use to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are the stages of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis? What types of medications treat RA?
      • "First-line" rheumatoid arthritis medications
      • "Second-line" or "slow-acting" rheumatoid arthritis drugs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs)
      • What are newer rheumatoid arthritis treatments?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis diet, exercise, home remedies, and alternative medicine
      • What about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are tips for living with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What specialists treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • What new information about RA has come from the 2015 national meeting of the American College of Rheumatology?
      • What research is being done on rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Where can people get additional information on rheumatoid arthritis?
    • Rotator Cuff Disease Rotator cuff disease is damage to any of the four tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Shoulder pain and tenderness are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rotator Cuff Disease Article
      • Rotator cuff disease facts
      • What is the rotator cuff?
      • What causes rotator cuff disease?
      • What are risk factors for rotator cuff disease?
      • How is the rotator cuff injured?
      • What are rotator cuff disease symptoms and signs?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose rotator cuff disease?
      • What is the treatment for rotator cuff disease?
      • Are there home remedies for rotator cuff disease?
      • What are complications of rotator cuff disease?
      • What specialists treat rotator cuff disease?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for rotator cuff disease?
      • Is it possible to prevent rotator cuff disease?
    • Snake Bite (Snake Bite) There are venomous (poisonous) and nonvenomous (nonpoisonous) snakes. A venomous snake bite penetrates the skin and injects,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Snake Bite (Snake Bite) Article
      • What is a venomous (poisonous) snake bite?
      • What is a nonvenomous (nonpoisonous) snake bite?
      • What are the symptoms of a venomous snake bite?
      • How is a venomous snake bite diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a venomous snake bite?
      • What are the complications of a venomous snake bite?
      • Can a snake bite be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for a venomous snake bite?
    • Sprains and Strains An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sprains and Strains Article
      • Sprains and strains facts
      • What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
      • What causes a sprain or strain?
      • Where do sprains and strains usually occur?
      • What are sprain symptoms and signs?
      • How are sprains and strains diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for sprains and strains?
      • What is the recovery time for sprains and strains?
      • Is it possible to prevent sprains and strains?
      • What is the prognosis of sprains and strains?
      • Where can people find more information about sprains and strains?
    • Sunburn (Sun Poisoning) Sunburn is caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. UV rays can also damage the eyes. Repeated overexposure to UV...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sunburn (Sun Poisoning) Article
      • Sunburn and sun poisoning facts
      • What is sunburn?
      • Can sunburn cause permanent damage?
      • What is UV light and where are UV rays most intense?
      • What are the symptoms of sunburn?
      • What are the symptoms of severe sunburn (sun poisoning)?
      • Sunburn pictures
      • What first-aid measures should be taken with sunburn?
      • What is the treatment for sunburn?
      • Are there any home remedies to treat sunburn?
      • Is a follow-up visit with a physician necessary?
      • Who is most susceptible to sunburn?
      • Can diseases cause a heightened sensitivity to UV rays?
      • What kinds of skin cancer can UV rays cause?
      • How can sunburn and skin cancer be prevented?
      • How do sunscreens work?
      • What is SPF?
      • What is the best way to apply sunscreen?
      • Do sunscreens expire?
      • Can antioxidants protect against sunburn?
    • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. Symptoms of tennis elbow include tenderness and dull pain of the outer...learn more »
      In This Article
      Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) Article
      • Tennis elbow facts
      • What is tennis elbow?
      • What causes tennis elbow?
      • What are tennis elbow risk factors?
      • What are symptoms of tennis elbow?
      • How do physicians diagnose tennis elbow?
      • What is the treatment for tennis elbow?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for tennis elbow?
      • Is it possible to prevent tennis elbow?
    • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition where symptoms are produced from compression of nerves or blood vessels because the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) Article
      • Thoracic outlet syndrome facts
      • What is thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What causes thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What are thoracic outlet syndrome risk factors?
      • What are thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • What tests do physicians use to diagnose thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What is the treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome? What are medications for thoracic outlet syndrome? Is surgery necessary for TOS?
      • What is the prognosis for thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • Is it possible to prevent thoracic outlet syndrome?
    • Vasculitis Vasculitis is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases which feature inflammation of the blood vessels. Each form of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Vasculitis Article
      • Vasculitis facts
      • What is vasculitis?
      • What causes vasculitis, and what are examples of diseases with vasculitis?
      • What are the symptoms of vasculitis?
      • How is vasculitis diagnosed?
      • How is vasculitis treated?
    • Whiplash Whiplash is a common injury to a person's neck following a car accident (in most cases). Symptoms include: headache, neck pain,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Whiplash Article
      • Whiplash facts
      • What is whiplash?
      • What causes whiplash?
      • What are the symptoms of whiplash?
      • How is whiplash diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for whiplash?
      • What can be done to prevent whiplash?
Other Causes of Arm Pain
  • Abrasion/Blister
  • Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis
  • Elbow Dislocation
  • Infectious Arthritis
  • Injury/Trauma
  • Skin Abscess or Infection
  • Tumor
  • Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
Examples of Medications for Arm Pain
  • acetaminophen, Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain
  • aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
  • celecoxib, Celebrex
  • etodolac, Lodine (Discontinued)
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
  • naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve
  • OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List



Arthritis

Get the latest treatment options

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations