Right arm pain is an extremely bothersome condition for right-handed people, as they perform most of their daily activities with it. Usually, this pain is confined to the area between shoulder and elbow, but at times it affects the entire hand. Sometimes, it can be so severe that one may find it difficult to even lift the arm. Depending on the cause, its intensity often varies from mild to severe. It may be accompanied by other symptoms, like swelling in the painful part of the arm and tingling or numbness in the right hand.
A few commonly observed causes behind right arm pain have been discussed below:
Pulled Muscles: This is one of the most common causes of right arm pain. In this condition, one or more muscles of this arm are torn because of overstretch. Repetitive motion of the right arm during sports activities, like playing tennis, swimming, throwing a ball can be responsible for such injuries. The severity of the pain depends on the extent to which the muscles are strained. The strained muscles become stiff and tender.
Inflamed Nerves: There are a bundle of nerves present at the junction of neck and shoulder. If one or more of these nerves suffer any damage, then the function of signal transmission from the spine to the right arm gets affected. As a result, the muscles lose all the control over arm and hand and give rise to a sharp pain and tingling sensation in the right arm. One can sustain this kind of injury from an accident, contact sports, or bad falls. The nerves of the right arm may also get inflamed because of carpal tunnel syndrome (or compression of median nerve in the wrist).
Tendonitis: Tendons are band of connective tissues that join the muscles and the bones at the arm joints. These tendons get inflamed when the right arm muscles suffer injury or are overused and result in tendonitis. This occurs most commonly after lifting of heavy weights and causes upper right arm pain.
Other Causes: Apart from the nerves, muscles, and tendons, any bones of the right arm may suffer fracture accidentally and give painful symptoms. When our mind is under a lot of stress, then the muscles of our body tend to become taut and give pain. It can happen to any part of the body including the arms. Arthritis that results in inflammation in the right shoulder and arm joint could be another possible cause of right arm pain.
The treatment depends on its underlying causes. A minor pull in the muscle often goes within few days if the arm is properly rested. This will ease off the pressure from the muscles and restore its normal functioning. Along with rest, hot compression on the affected area is also beneficial. For a more severe pull, physical therapy may be recommended. For fractured bones, use of splint is often recommended in order to ensure immobility of the hand. When it is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, then the doctor advises the patient to suspend all such activities that involves use of wrist, like typing, playing a piano, racket sports, etc. Cold compression for 10 - 15 minutes everyday have a soothing effect on the nerves. Those who are under mental stress, need to relax their mind and body to get relief from the arm pain.
Right arm pain is a possible sign of heart attack only in some rare cases. Left arm pain is more commonly associated with heart attack. However, it can be experienced as a referred pain in the right arm. Of course, it is accompanied by various other heart attack symptoms, like chest pain, jaw and neck pain, sweating, breathlessness, etc. This is a medical emergency where the patient needs to be rushed to hospital.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and it should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.