Arm pain is described by uncomfortable pain sensations anywhere in the arm. It may cause tingling, numbness, and aches in the arm or certain fingers. Arm pain can be caused by a wide range of problems and can start unexpectedly or develop over time. Arm pain can stem from an issue in your upper spine or neck. Arm pain, especially when it transmits into your left arm can also be a warning sign of a heart attack.

To educate you further on the causes of arm pain as well as its treatment options, the pain specialists at Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists compiled this handy resource.


Arm pain can be caused by a number of different factors and conditions. The most widely seen causes of arm pain at Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists include:

  • Strains. If you believe the arm pain you are experiencing has been caused by doing more intense activity that you’re used to, a simple strain may contribute to your arm pain. When a strain
    occurs, your arm tissues have been twisted, torn, or stretched but are fortunately not damaged permanently. Learn more about strains »
  • Bursitis. When you repeatedly move your arm, a build-up of fluid over the elbow joint known as the bursitis may occur and result in pain and swelling. Most instances of bursitis can be treated at home with painkillers while more complicated cases may require antibiotics.  Learn more about bursitis»
  • Tennis elbow. Despite its name, tennis elbow does not only occur in tennis players. It can happen during cooking, plumbing, or while performing other activities when tendons in your elbow are overlooked because of repetitive motions of the arm and wrist. The pain caused by tennis elbow can last for a few weeks or months but eventually improves over time.  Learn more about tennis elbow»
  • Rotator cuff tears. Rotator cuff tears are common in individuals who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their careers or hobbies. Carpenters, painters, baseball, and tennis players are at risk for rotator cuff tears. The risk of rotator cuff tears also increases with age.  Learn more about rotator cuff tears»


There are a number of ways you can relieve your arm pain at home. You should start by taking a break from your everyday activities and use a compression bandage or elevate your arm to reducePain in a man's body on a gray background. Collage of several photos with red dots swelling. Placing an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to the area of pain for about twenty minutes, three times a day is also likely to help. These methods should expedite arm pain relief and help ensure that your arm pain fades on its own.

If at home care methods such as ice, rest, compression, elevation, and over-the-counter pain relievers do not alleviate your arm pain, you should see a doctor. A doctor will thoroughly analyze your arm and its movement to determine the root cause of the pain. He or she will also check for serious arm injuries such as a broken wrist or arm.

While most arm pain can be relieved with simple at home remedies, more serious treatment options may be required. At Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists, we make it a priority to assist you in relieving your arm pain and preventing it from occurring in the future. We pride ourselves on our high-quality care and the convenience of accepting patients without an MRI before an initial appointment.

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