Upper arm pain is usually muscular in nature. It can range from mild to severe, and the pain is felt anywhere between the elbow and the shoulder. Sometimes, it lasts for a short period of time, but it can also last longer or even become chronic. While we move and use all of the muscles in the body, those in the arms are perhaps used the most. This means they are often under constant strain and pressure. Interestingly, upper arm pain can also be indicative of a different issue, such as a problem with the neck, or with the heart. Because of this, treating upper arm pain depends on what is causing it.
Treating Upper Arm Pain According to Causes:
Depending on what is the cause of the upper arm pain, the symptoms can also be very different. People can experience burning or sharp pain, a dull ache, bruises, swelling of the arm, problems with bending or flexing the arm, persistent pain that often gets worse when exercising or moving, or loss of strength. If the pain is on the left side and is accompanied with shortness of breath and chest pain, it could mean that you are having a heart attack. This requires immediate medical assistance. With other problems, at home treatment is usually all that is needed in the first instance.
Home Remedies for Treating Upper Arm Pain:
If you know what is at the heart of the pain in your arm, you will also be able to easily find the right treatment. However, if you discover that the pain does not respond to treatment, or if it gets worse, you should seek medical attention just in case it might be something more serious. Some of the most common home remedies include:
– Ice packs, which can be used for any type of muscle or joint pain. Heat compresses can work equally well. Simply place on the affected area, wrapped in a cloth, and leave for around 15 minutes. Repeat several times per day.
– Rest, particularly by not engaging in the activities that caused you pain. Rest is not the same as immobilization, however, and it is generally not recommended to fully immobilize any body part, unless specifically instructed by a physician. While resting your arm, you could prop it on a pillow for comfort.
– Exercise, but make sure it is slow and gentle and, preferably, supervised by a professional such as a personal trainer. The exercise should be to improve your strength and flexibility, and not to bulk or tone up.
– Over the counter painkillers, particularly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as these help to reduce inflammation.
If the pain persists or gets worse, you should seek medical attention. A physician should be able to determine what the cause of your pain is, and suggest you continue with your current at home treatment, or whether you need more medical treatment, including stronger prescription painkillers, although this must be closely monitored due to addiction risks. Physiotherapy may also be recommended depending on the cause of the upper arm pain.