Arm Pain: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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. Injuries or trauma to any part of the arm or shoulder, including bone fractures, joint dislocations, and muscle strains and sprains, are common causes of arm pain. 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.

REFERENCE:

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

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/14/2018
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