Arm pain can be the result of many things. Depending on its cause and location, your arm pain may be accompanied by swelling, tenderness, and stiffness especially at the joints.
Your doctor will use the location and type of pain you are experiencing to narrow down the suspected cause of your pain.
For example, arm pain could be result of:
- Heart attack
- Shoulder dislocation
- Sprains and strains
- Trauma to the arm
- Vascular diseases that affect your limbs
The joints of the arm are most likely to be injured; the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand are common sites of arm pain.
Signs of Common Causes of Arm Pain
If there is an obvious deformity in your arm, it may indicate a broken bone.
If at the moment your arm pain begins, it is accompanied by a snap or popping sound, it may indicate a torn muscle, tendon, or ligament.
If pain is present every time you move or use your arm, it could indicate tendonitis, a muscle strain, or ligament sprain.
If your pain is in the wrist and radiates up your arm, it could indicate a fracture. If this is the case, the area will likely swell up immediately after the break.
If your pain is in your wrist, forearm, or elbow, and occurs only with certain movements, it could indicate tendon issues like tennis elbow, golf elbow, or de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
If you’re feeling a pins and needles sensation in the arm, it could be a pinched nerve such as with carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome.
If the pain seems to radiate from your chest down your left arm, it may indicate a potentially life-threatening heart problem. This is considered an emergency and you should seek immediate medical care.
When to See a Doctor
If your arm pain is accompanied by pain or pressure in your chest, it could be a heart-related issue, which requires immediate medical attention. If sudden trauma like a car accident leaves you with arm pain or an obvious deformity in the arm, seek medical attention as quickly as possible, especially if the pain worsens and is accompanied by swelling or redness in the area.
Whether your arm pain is easily traced to an acute sudden traumatic injury or a gradual increase in pain, that is your body telling you something is wrong and requires medical attention. Contact Balcones Pain Consultants by calling (512) 834-4141 or request an appointment now and stop your suffering.