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Arm Pain and Numbness in Fingers

Madhura Pandit Apr 14, 2019
Arm pain accompanied with numbness can be a symptom of injury or even heart diseases. Let us take a look at the possible causes and their treating options in detail.
Numbness and tingling is a condition where a person experiences complete lack of sensation in the related part of the body. In most of the cases, numbness is experienced in limbs. Arm pain and numbness is often experienced at night. It can occur suddenly and last for a couple of minutes or even more. There can be several underlying causes for the same.

Causes of Pain and Numbness in Arm

Sometimes, while sleeping, we unknowingly exert pressure on the arms by placing them under the head. Also, carrying weight or a heavy bag for a longer period can put pressure on the arms resulting in pain and numbness in fingers. Apart from these, the following are the other severe causes.


Fracture in the bones of the arm, elbow, fingers can result in pain in the arm. An injury or trauma can be caused due to various reasons like accident, while playing sports, etc.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

The carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when certain factors like injury or repetitive use leads to pressure on the median nerve. Carpal tunnel is usually seen in sportsmen, musicians and computer workers.

Angina Pectoris

Angina pectoris, or simply angina, is a health condition that arises when the supply of oxygen to the heart reduces suddenly. The symptoms include chest pain, left arm pain and numbness in fingers, shoulder pain, etc. Angina is considered as a symptom of coronary heart disease and hence, should be heeded to immediately.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition whose exact cause is unknown. It occurs when the immune system affects the nerves resulting in sudden numbness in the related parts of the body. As multiple sclerosis affects only one side of the limb, the person may experience sudden right or left arm pain.

Ganglion Cysts

A ganglion cyst is a non cancerous lump or a cyst that grows on the wrist due to unknown causes. The cyst contains fluid and is completely painless. However, sometimes, when put under pressure, the cyst can lead to numbness, pain and discomfort in the arm.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is a condition that results out of overuse or repetitive use of the arm. It is commonly observed in tennis players, other sports persons, painters, smiths, etc. The symptoms include severe arm pain, weakness and numbness.

Treating Arm Pain and Numbness

If you suffer from pain in arm and numbness that lasts for more than a couple of hours and is accompanied by other symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor immediately. The treatment depends on the cause and severity of the condition. 
In some cases, physical therapy, medications and rest may be required while in severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with the help of corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. In minor cases, taking rest may even be sufficient to get rid of this condition.
Although there is no permanent cure for multiple sclerosis, there are several medications and physical therapies that help in treating the symptoms of this disease. Ganglion cysts, in most of the cases, go away on their own.
But, sometimes, a surgical procedure may be required to remove the cyst. Tennis elbow is treated with the help of physical therapy, rest, pain killers and corticosteroids. In severe cases, a surgery may be required. If pain and numbness is observed due to angina, it is simply advisable to go for an emergency treatment and not wait for any home remedies.
One should be careful while undertaking sports activities in order to prevent arm pain. Lastly, one should note that all these causes can be treated effectively if proper treatment is undertaken. Therefore, it is wise to consult the doctor immediately. Take care!