What Causes Upper Arm Pain? 14 Causes To Consider

There are a variety of potential causes of upper arm pain and discomfort. An individual may feel pain, discomfort, or stiffness from the shoulders down to the tips of their fingers. Accidents and muscle overuse are the usual culprits in such circumstances.

Upper arm pain may indicate a cardiovascular problem, such as angina in a heart attack or a vascular disease. When a blockage stops blood from reaching a section of the heart, the heart is deprived of oxygen, and a heart attack occurs. Sudden, acute or constant discomfort in the arms, shoulders, or back accompanied by a feeling of fullness, pressure, or squeezing in the chest are signs of a heart attack. Autoimmune diseases may also induce arm pain radiation from the nerves and bones.

In severe accidents, abnormality or protrusion of bone in the arm or wrist are visible. You might also have numbness, weakness, bruising, and edema. Moreover, a strain or injury can cause upper arm pain in the muscle, bones, or ligaments. You may also experience pain, weakness, swelling, spasms, and muscle bruising. Because of this, physical activities should be restrained until the pain subsides. Physical therapy may be necessary in severe cases.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory and autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, leading to severe inflammation in the joints. It can simultaneously impact any joint in the body, particularly the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. It may lead to damage to joint tissue caused by inflammation of the joint’s lining. This swelling may cause deformity, impaired balance, and persistent discomfort. 

Pain in the joint’s periphery is common in the first stages of rheumatoid arthritis. In the latter stages, the shoulder may inflame, producing discomfort and restricted mobility. The pain increases with rotation and can radiate to the nearby tissues, such as the upper arm. The friction between the glenohumeral joint’s articulating bones can form bone spurs and extreme shoulder pain, also affecting both arms.

Other symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis may include muscle weakness in the arms and legs, fatigue, weight loss, and fever. Symptoms can also worsen at night. Its symptoms may flare or improve or have remission over time. Although the exact triggers of rheumatoid arthritis are unclear, treatments and lifestyle modifications can improve the symptoms.