Causes of Upper Arm Muscle Pain

Upper arm muscle pain refers to the pain in the muscles between the shoulder and the elbow. The pain may range from slight, mild to severe. Treatment also vary from ice compress to medications and physical therapies. In some cases, it could be a sign of heart attack. In the first place, we should figure out the reason of this painful upper arm muscle discomfort.

Here are the possible reasons of upper arm muscle pain:

1. Injury

If there is an injury, such as a sprain or a fracture in your upper arm, naturally you will feel pain. You may not feel the pain immediately after getting the injury. But you can feel it gradually as you move your arm.

Upper arm muscle pain, ice compress and sign of heart attack
Upper arm strain

2. Muscle Fatigue or Tension

Muscle overuse can be the most likely cause of upper arm muscle pain. If so, just get enough rest and try some ice compresses.

Upper arm muscle pain, ice compress and sign of heart attack
Ice compress

3. Pinched Nerve

This is another common reason of arm pain. If your nerve is twisted, stretched, or pinched, call your doctor as soon as possible.

4. Bursitis

Bursitis means there is an inflammation of the bursa. It could be a deep aching pain that goes worse as you move your shoulder or arm. You may need some anti-inflammatory medications, or physical therapy, to treat your red and swollen arm.

Upper arm muscle pain, ice compress and sign of heart attack
Your arm pain may be caused by bursitis

5. Sign of Heart Attack

Upper arm muscle pain can even be a sign of heart attack if  the pain is sudden and sharp. Also, someone consider it as dull and aching. The pain here is unexplained, not resulting from any injury or overexertion. It may also come with chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea. If this happens, don’t hesitate to ask for your doctor’s help before an impending heart attack strikes you down.

6. Bicipital Tendinitis

Too much exercise can also cause upper arm pain, which generally result from a tendon torn, especially in the biceps muscle. If it is mild, have a rest. Ice packs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy can be possible solutions. If the pain doesn’t disappear two months later, consult an orthopedic doctor.

7. Cervical Disc Herniation

Upper arm pain sometimes can be a hint of the cervical disc herniation.You can try traction, exercises, and massage in coping with this condition.

Upper arm muscle pain, ice compress and sign of heart attack
Cervical disk herniation

8. Fibromyalgia

If the pain is unexplained, you can’t describe its intensity and only feel the fatigue it brings,  then it may be the fibromyalgia. This happens more often to women.

Home remedies – rest, ice compress and exercise:

Arm pain is common in our daily life if it’s not a sign of heart attack or other severe conditions. And it’s necessary to grab some simple and effective home remedies in case.

  • Rest. Let your arm rest. You can find a pillow or something else that is soft for your arm resting.
  • Ice Compress. A 10-15mins ice compress really works for your injury and inflammation, reducing the pain.
  • Exercise. Work can be endless but you only have two arms. Don’t strain it too much.

Home remedies are simple and useful for the mild pain. However, if your pain is lasting and worsening, you’d better to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.