Updated: Jun 7
Nearly everyone gets arm pain from time to time. Whether you're typing on your computer, using a mouse for prolonged periods of time, or just swinging a golf club for the first time, arm pain can happen to anyone.
Arm pain is more than an inconvenience in your day-to-day life. It can keep you from doing things you love, like sports and other hobbies. Whatever the cause — from arthritis to repetitive stress — it can affect your quality of life and even make it hard to perform simple tasks. The good news is our New York pain management center can help with these issues. So, when you're looking for ways to cope with arm pain, here are some things worth knowing.
Arm Pain Can Be a Sign of Something Serious
While the pain may feel like it's coming from one specific place, it's more likely that there are several causes of arm pain. Your arm may ache, throb, and feel sore. It's usually a sign that something isn't working properly in your body. It's a warning to take care of yourself. If you ignore it, the pain can become more intense — and much worse things can happen.
Pain can also be a symptom of an injury or illness, so it's important to see a pain specialist as soon as possible if you're experiencing discomfort in your arms or hands to know what's causing your pain so you can get the right treatment.
The Arm is a Complex Structure
Arm pain is any discomfort or distress felt in the upper extremities of your body. It may occur in any area below the armpit — from the elbow to the fingertips — but it's most often felt near the shoulder joint. The arm is a complex structure that includes bones, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Any of these can cause pain when injured.
These bones are connected by joints called elbow, wrist, and shoulder joints. These joints allow you to bend and straighten your arms easily, but they can become injured if you overuse them or do something incorrectly.
The symptoms of arm pain usually include:
• Aching or throbbing sensations
• Pain that gets worse at night or when not moving
• Sharp or dull pain in the upper arm
• Pain that worsens with movement or activity
• Loss of strength or motor control in the arm and hand
• Numbness or tingling in the arm and hand
Every Person Experiences Pain Differently
Pain is a common symptom of arm injury, but not everyone experiences the same type of pain. In addition, some people have a high tolerance for pain, while others have a low tolerance for pain. This can make it difficult to compare one person's experience with another's.
There are many factors that determine how you will feel when you injure your arm, including:
• Your age. Arm pain can be more intense in children and older adults than in young adults.
• Your gender. Men and women often experience different types of arm pain because of hormonal differences.
• Your overall health condition. If you suffer from other conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, then your body may be less able to deal with a simple strain or sprain. This can cause your muscle tissue or bone tissue to break down more quickly after an injury occurs.
• The severity of your injury. Arm pain can be mild or severe, depending on the type and extent of your injury.
• The duration of your injury. Arm pain can become less or more intense as time passes after an injury occurs.
Know the Difference Between Sharp Arm Pain and Dull Ache
Dull Ache — This is the most common type of arm pain, but it doesn't always mean there's nothing wrong with you. Dull aches in the upper arms are usually caused by repetitive or sustained stress on tendons, muscles, or nerves in that area. This type of pain often starts gradually and increases with continued activity. If you feel this type of dull ache, try to avoid doing activities that exacerbate the discomfort and rest when possible.
Sharp Arm Pain —This type of pain is usually more intense than a dull ache and may feel like a pinching sensation or a stabbing feeling. The pain might also radiate from your shoulder to your fingers or vice-versa. Sharp pain can be caused by many things — including muscle strains and sprains, broken bones, nerve damage, and even heart attacks.
Sharp arm pain is usually associated with severe activity or sudden movement of the shoulder or elbow joint. It also may last for several minutes before subsiding. When you lift something heavy with poor form or overextend yourself too much during exercise routines, you can strain muscles or tendons in your upper extremity. This causes inflammation and pain with movement or at rest.
Arm Pain Can Be Caused by a Number of Sources
Pain is one of the most common reasons for medical visits and can be difficult to diagnose. Pain can be described as a sensation that is felt in response to stimuli such as pressure, heat, cold, or disease or injury. Pain can also refer to the state of having a disease or injury.
If you notice arm pain in your daily life, you may need to make some lifestyle changes or see a pain specialist about the cause of your pain. Arm pain can have many causes, including:
Repetitive use injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) — This happens when you repeat the same motion over and over again without taking breaks or using proper equipment (such as keyboard wrist rests). These repetitive motions are linked to carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes numbness and tingling in your hands and fingers.
Arthritis — Arthritis occurs when joints become inflamed and painful due to wear-and-tear changes or injury. It's common among older adults but can affect people of all ages. Arthritis most often affects knees, hips, and hands — but it can affect any joint in the body.
Strains — Strains happen when muscles or tendons (the tissues that connect muscles) become stretched too far and then snap back into place suddenly, causing them to tear slightly or pull away from their attachments on bones (called tendons).
Treatment Depends on the Cause of Your Pain
If you're experiencing arm pain, the first thing to do is see a pain doctor. Arm pain can be a sign of a serious condition, so it's important to get it checked out. Once you've been diagnosed with the condition that's causing your symptoms, there are several different types of treatment available. For example, depending on the cause and severity of your arm pain, your doctor might recommend one or more treatment options.
Suppose your arm pain is caused by weak muscles or poor posture habits. Physical therapists can teach you exercises that strengthen muscles and improve posture while also decreasing any pain that results from these problems. This treatment helps reduce pain and restore mobility in people with chronic arm pain or nerve damage (neuropathic pain). It might include exercise and stretches designed to strengthen muscles around the shoulder joint, improve posture and help patients use muscles properly.
If you have severe arm pain or loss of function in your hand, arm or shoulder, see a health professional right away. The sooner you get diagnosed and treated for an arm injury or condition, the better off you'll be in the long run.
Reducing Neck and Shoulder Tension can Ease Arm Pain
Arm pain is often caused by tension in the neck or shoulders. The muscles of the neck support the head when we are upright and balanced over our feet. When these muscles become tense, they pull on their attachments on either side of each vertebra in the spine producing aches in our necks, shoulders, arms, and hands. If they remain tight for long periods of time, they can cause muscle spasms in these areas as well as headaches due to excessive mental activity causing strain on these muscles.
If you have arm pain and experience weakness in your hands or fingers, it may be time for an evaluation by a pain specialist. Numbness or tingling in the fingers can indicate carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is a pinched nerve at the wrist that causes numbness and tingling in hand.
Seek Professional Help
It's never easy dealing with arm pain, but it can be managed. While arm pain may be a nuisance and a distraction, you shouldn't be too worried to the point where it stresses you out. Arm pain can be complex but don't let it keep you from getting help from a New York pain management specialist.
The key is getting to a medical professional who can diagnose you and treat your injury as soon as possible. Arm pain should never keep you from living your life, and it shouldn't be something you have to live with on a day-to-day basis.
Remember, you're not alone when it comes to arm pain, and there are several things you can do to feel better and manage your condition, so don't let it stop you from leading a full and active life. Instead, contact our professionals today and get help for your pain. We will help you find the right treatment plan and get back to doing what you enjoy in as little time as possible.