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Aching Arms

Saptakee Sengupta Mar 2, 2019
Aching arms may greatly keep a person from performing his/her daily activities. The problem could occur due to overexertion or it may signal an underlying disease.
Be it at work, or while resting, painful arms always cause immense discomfort. The dull pain is felt in muscles and you are troubled continuously. Neither you can work nor carry out any activity peacefully with the undulating pain in your hand. The worst part is, if the pain lingers entire night, then you are simply deprived of sleep.

General Causes

  • If you are lifting heavy weights, the muscles in your arms are bound to ache during the first few days.
  • Even stretching exercises, aerobics and yoga initially cause mild pain in arms.
  • Sleeping over the arms by thrusting your body over it will give rise to pain.
  • Arm sprain occurs more often when you do heavy household jobs, like shifting furniture, lifting bucket full of water, etc.

Medical Reasons

Fracture or Muscle Injury

Tears might get induced in the ligament or muscles when you hurt your arm all of a sudden. This might fracture your arm bone or cause severe pain. The sole consequence of such injuries is excruciating pain in arms. You will also experience pain during the post operative period of a surgery in your arm or shoulder.


The Mayo Clinic in the U.S. states that "bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small fluid-filled pads - called bursae - that act as cushions among your bones and the tendons and muscles near your joints". Inflammation of bursae present in the shoulder causes a sharp pain, which spreads gradually from the shoulders to the arms.


The tendons (connect muscles to bones) present in your arms and shoulders when get overstretched cause pain in those areas. The pain ranges from mild to severe.
Tennis and badminton players are vulnerable to tendinitis. It's also known as tennis elbow, wherein the injury is actually in the elbow but the pain is experienced in the entire hand. Arm become sore and movement of the hand is considerably restricted.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome begins in the wrists mainly due to incorrect way of typing and handling the mouse. The nerves present in the wrists get twitched and compressed. The pain progresses and reaches your arms and shoulders. You will also experience frequent numbing and weakness in your hands and fingers.

Brachial Plexus Injury

As defined by doctors, "brachial plexus is the network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and hand".
From this definition you can well assume that injury to brachial plexus, will cause tremendous pain in the arms. Injury is caused if the network of nerves get stretched. The pain is quite numbing and affects your shoulders and neck as well.


Arm pain is also a symptom of swollen lymph nodes, lump in armpits, breast cancer and tumors. You might experience the pain either in your left arm or right arm. Malignant cancers often cause burning and acute pain.

Heart Attack

Excruciating pain in the left arm along with other symptoms like, profuse sweating, chest pain are signs of heart attack. You must get a check up done immediately if you have experienced any such symptom.

Other Causes

Apart from these, your arms might ache from...:
  • rotator cuff injury
  • arthritis
  • stress
  • trauma
  • regional pain syndrome
  • restless leg syndrome
  • postherpetic neuralgia
  • thoracic outlet syndrome
These were the most obvious reasons behind pain in arms. If the pain has resulted from fatigue, then you can try some home remedies. Massage your arm with warm chamomile and mustard oil. You can also rub the affected area with a pain relief balm.
Treatment is more often done with painkillers and surgery is the last option to cure arm pain associated with major health disorders. However, to be on the safe side consult your doctor and get the right treatment for the pain.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.