Arm pain usually has a simple cause of injury or overuse. If your pain began quite quickly and isn’t too intense then you might want to try a few simple methods to see if you can alleviate the ache yourself. An ice pack can be great for reducing localised inflammation, whereas a hot pack can help to reduce stiffness. Over the counter medications and drugs are also effective in cases where your shoulder or arm pain isn’t that intense.
Is Your Pain Accompanied with Chest Pain?
It is very important that if you have pain in your arm, and a tight squeezing feeling within your chest that you do not ignore this. Although there may be a simple non-serious explanation, it can also be an indicating sign that you are having a heart attack. Obviously you would not want to ignore this in any circumstance, as even if you believe this not to be the case it is always better to be safe than sorry. You should visit your local emergency room / accident and emergency if you are having any combination of arm and chest pain.
If the Pain In Your Arm Brought on by Exercise?
If exercise exacerbates the symptoms of your arm or shoulder pain then you should see your doctor as soon as possible as this can be a symptom of angina. This pain can sometimes start in your chest and then radiate to your shoulder and arms, as a restriction of blood flow from your heart causes you pain. If diagnosed as angina your doctor may supply you with an inhaler that will help to quickly alleviate symptoms when they occur.
Other Musculoskeletal Causes of Shoulder / Arm Pain
The pain you are experiencing can be brought on by a number of musculo-skeletal conditions such as bursitis, tendonitis, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or a sprain or strain. You are likely to know yourself whether the pain has been brought about by a sporting injury. You can try treating minor pain yourself using the simple methods outlined at the top of this page. Sporting injuries may require the involvement of a physical therapist or medication from your doctor.
If you are experiencing pain that is on the outer part of the elbow rather than near your shoulder, then this can be what is called tennis elbow. As with other causes of shoulder and arm pain, it is typically caused by overuse particularly during sporting activities. The effect of the overuse is an inflammation of the tendons surround the elbow. For tennis elbow utilising a cold compress, taking simple household painkillers, and possibly physio / physical therapy would be suitable in more severe cases.