Arm Pain

john miller physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Arm Pain & Injury

arm pain

What Causes Arm Pain?

Arm pain and injuries are extremely common. Arm pain can occur as a result of either sudden traumatic or repetitive overuse. The causes can be related to sports injuries, work injuries or simply everyday arm use.

Arm pain can be a local injury musculoskeletal injury or could even be referred from nerves of joints in your neck (cervical radiculopathy). This can result in neck-arm pain.

What Arm Pain is Associated with a Heart Attack?

Left arm pain can be an early sign of a life-threatening cardiac issue. Based on this, a professional medical assessment that involves an accurate history, symptom analysis, physical examination and diagnostic tests to exclude a potential heart attack is important to the exclude this potentially life-threatening source of arm pain.

For more information, please consult with your health practitioner, call an ambulance on 000, or a visit a hospital emergency department to put your mind at ease.

  • Chest Pain: Is it a Heart Attack or Your Spine?
  • Good News. Most Arm Pain is NOT Life Threatening.

    Luckily, life-threatening arm pain is far less likely than a local musculoskeletal injury. Arm pain caused by a localised arm muscle, tendon or a joint injury should be assessed and confirmed by your health practitioner before commencing treatment.

    Referred Arm Pain

    As mentioned earlier, arm pain can be caused by a referred source. Cervical radiculopathy is a common source of referred arm pain. Cervical radiculopathy will not respond to treatment where you feel the arm pain. However, it will respond positively to treatment at the source of the injury eg your neck joints.

    Professional assessment from a health practitioner skilled in the diagnosis of both spinal-origin and local-origin (muscle and joint) injuries (eg your physiotherapist) is recommended to ensure an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment directed at the arm pain source.

    Common Causes of Arm Pain

    The most common sources of arm pain include shoulder pain, wrist pain and elbow pain.

    Arm Pain has Diverse Causes

    The causes of your arm pain can be very wide and varied. Due to this diversity, your arm pain should be assessed by a suitably qualified health practitioner to attain an accurate diagnosis, treatment plan and its implementation specific to your arm pain.

    Arm Pain Prognosis

    The good news is that arm pain and injury will normally respond very favourably to medical or physiotherapy intervention when early professional assessment and treatment is sought. Please do not delay in consulting your healthcare practitioner if you experience arm pain. 

    Causes of Arm Pain by Region

    Causes of Arm Pain by Structure

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    Common Causes of Arm Pain

    Neck-related Arm Pain

    Shoulder-related Arm Pain

    Elbow-related Arm Pain

    Wrist-related Arm Pain

    Hand-related Arm Pain

    Muscle-related Arm Pain

    Other Sources of Arm Pain

    Common Arm Pain Treatments

    With accurate assessment and early treatment, most arm injuries respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy or medical care allowing you to quickly resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living.

    Please ask your physiotherapist for their professional treatment advice.

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    Arm Pain

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    Arm Pain Treatment Options

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Scapular Stabilisation Exercises
  • Rotator Cuff Exercises
  • Shoulder Exercises
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Eccentric Strengthening
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Neurodynamics
  • Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
  • Prehabilitation
  • Scapulohumeral Rhythm Exercises
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • FAQs about Arm Pain

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are Growing Pains?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What Can You Do To Help Arthritis?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What to expect when you visit PhysioWorks?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
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    Last updated 08-Jan-2018 09:37 AM

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