Arm Pain Relief
“Burlington Arm Pain Relief For Athletes, Adolescents, The Elderly, and Anyone Else Suffering With Pain In Their Arm or Arms”
Pain in the arm, may be caused by structures which make up the arm.
Just as often, arm pain can be a referral from other areas such as neck or shoulders. Pain in the left arm may be a sign of a heart attack.
In majority of cases arm pain is fairly minor, however some fractures, especially in the wrist or shoulder can cause severe pain which may require extensive care.
Most of the time, it is an injury from an accident or a fall that is the cause of arm pain. Older people with weak bones or people involved in contact sports are particularly vulnerable.
Repetitive stress injuries and repetitive daily tasks, such as working on a keyboard etc. can cause chronic arm pain.
More common causes of arm pain:
- Brachial Plexus Injury – is an injury to the bundle of nerves supplying the arm. It most often results when these nerves are sharply stretched or torn. It can happen due to falls where a shoulder is pressed down and neck is pushed away. It can also happen in car accidents. Babies sometimes sustain a brachial plexus injury during birth. In these cases the injury may be confined to 5th nerve root only. In that case it will cause paralysis of the thenar eminence, resulting in ‘ape hand’ appearance, where the thumb is aligned with fingers and not opposing them.Contact sports such as football and wrestling can result in ‘stingers’ or ‘burners’. These are injuries to the brachial plexus. The symptoms of an electric shock or burning sensation down the arm as well as numbness or weakness can be the result. In more severe cases, shoulder and elbow muscles may weaken or there may be no feeling in the arm.
- Broken arm – the most common cause is falling on an outstretched hand. Recovering from this type of an injury is usually uneventful. However, there may be complications. Such as uneven growth, especially in children. Osteoarthritis – fractures that extend into a joint can cause arthritis within a few years.
- Bursitis – is quite painful. It is caused by inflammation in a bursa, which is a small pad located near elbows, shoulder, hips etc. Treatment is typically icing of the inflamed area as well as rest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway at palmar side of wrist. It contains tendons that flex the fingers and nerves that supply them. Pressure placed on the nerves can produce numbness, pain and finally weakness in the hand. For most people proper treatment usually relieves the symptoms.
- DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis – is inflammation of tendons on the thumb side of wrist. This is a painful condition and it gets aggravated from everyday activities such as working in garden, knitting, cooking etc. This condition tends to occur in people who chronically overuse their wrists.
- Herniated disc – meaning herniated or slipped or ruptured disc in the neck. When a disc herniates it presses on the nerves which go to the arm causing pain, numbness and or weakness. In some cases surgery may be necessary to repair the disc. Most of the time a conservative treatment will provide the desired results.
- Rotator cuff injury – The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons which surround the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint has extensive ligaments to hold the joint tight. A rotator cuff injury includes any type of irritation or damage to the rotator cuff muscles, tendons or ligaments. Most common causes of damage to the rotator cuff are from repetitious arm movements such as throwing a ball, doing overhead work or falling on the shoulder. The best results occur with conservative treatment. This may involve ice and rest.
- Sprains and strains – are common injuries that present very similarly. A sprain is stretching or tearing of a ligament, while a strain is stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. The important thing to do is treat them both the same way. Initial treatment for both is RICE. This stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
- Tendinitis – is inflammation of a tendon. While tendinitis can occur at any tendon, the most commonly occurring are: tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, pitcher’s shoulder, swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee etc. Jumper’s knee, also known as patellar tendinitis occurs mostly in sports where jumping is required such as basketball, volleyball etc. however, it can occur in activities not involving jumping.
- Tennis elbow – occurs bellow elbow joint and is a result of overworked arm muscles. This condition usually results after many years of overuse. Most people are unaware they have tennis elbow because their elbow does not hurt specifically. Tennis elbow got its name from early tennis players who hurt their arm due to improper technique. Nowdays tennis elbow can occur in 10 year olds, as well as 90 year olds, primarily due to the use of computer and other electronic, digital equipment.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome – is when the blood vessels and or nerves in the thoracic outlet, a space between collarbone and the first rib, become compressed. This syndrome can cause pain in the shoulder, neck as well as finger numbness. Most reasons for this occurence are physical trauma from car accidents, repetitive injuries from overhead work or sports related activities.
What is RICE?
It stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
- Rest – take a break from activities that caused the problem.
- Ice – place an ice pack on the arm. My suggestion is to put ice on for 10 min. and then off for 10 min. During the off time put the ice back in the freezer. Repeat this 10 on, 10 off sequence 5x. Using this method will leave the arm fit to repeat the ice treatment in 1 to 2 hours without causing any problems like frostbite etc.
- Compression – use a bandage to wrap around the problem area in order to keep the swelling down.
- Elevation – elevate the affected part to help alleviate the swelling.