Arm Pain - Left Arm Pain, Right Arm Pain, Upper Arm Pain

Arm pain whether it's left arm pain, right arm pain or upper arm pain can be very painful. The arm is the upper extremity of the human body and extends from the shoulder to the hand. The main parts of the arm are the upper arm, forearm, elbow, wrist, and hand. This section will address upper arm and forearm pain, which can be caused by a condition related to the arm itself, a disease or medical condition in another organ in the body, or a combination of these causes.

Arm pain may be mild to severe and may even signal a life-threatening heart attack, where pain originates in the chest and spreads to the arm, shoulder, neck, and jaw; these symptoms may be accompanied by difficulty breathing, chest pressure, and nausea.

Arm Pain Symptoms

  • Ache or pain in the left arm or right arm
  • Discomfort
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Inflammation

Arm Pain Causes

  • Accident, injury, or fall
  • Fracture
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Irritated or compressed nerves, e.g., neuralgia, brachial plexus injury
  • Cervical spinal stenosis
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Heart attack

Arm Pain Treatment and Arm Pain Relief - When to See a Doctor

Arm pain often improves within a few weeks with rest and/or over-the-counter pain relievers. Persistent arm pain should be addressed by your doctor who may prescribe other medications, order physical therapy, or recommend further diagnosis and treatment by a specialist. Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • Your pain is from an accident, injury, or fall.
  • A fracture is obvious.
  • Your pain is severe or intolerable.

Unexplained severe arm pain may be the sign of an impending heart attack. This pain may start in the chest and radiate up the arm to the shoulder, neck, and jaw. Call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention.