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Exercises for Arm Pain | Arm Pain Relief Tips

Common Causes of Arm Pain

The first step to treating an injury is understanding the cause. Exercises and treatments that work for carpal tunnel syndrome may not be effective for bursitis or tendonitis. Below are some of the most common musculoskeletal injuries that can cause arm pain. You can learn more about these and other injuries we treat here.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve provides the sensation of feeling to the arms and hands and facilitates movement. To get into the hand, the median nerve passes through an opening at the base of the wrist. This opening, known as the carpal tunnel, is narrow and susceptible to compression.

Pain from carpal tunnel syndrome manifests in the forearm and first three fingers of the hand. It’s often accompanied by a numbness or tingling sensation and can make your hand feel weak.

Bicep/Tricep Tendonitis

A sudden, sharp pain in the elbow or upper arm shortly after heavy lifting is a telltale sign of a tendon injury. Bicep/tricep tendonitis are very common injuries, especially for those who lift heavy weights or use their arms in repetitive movement. Even simple tasks like lifting a heavy piece of furniture can cause tendonitis if the weight is too much to bear.

Both bicep and tricep tendonitis feature symptoms of bruising in the affected arm, weakness in the shoulder or elbow, and reduced arm mobility. You may even notice a “popeye muscle” appear in the upper arm in front of your bicep.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The thoracic outlet is a narrow space that lies between the base of your neck and the front of your shoulder. Nerves, arteries, and blood vessels travel through this space to reach the arms. In the same way that the carpal tunnel can compress the median nerve in the wrist, the thoracic outlet can compress this vital passageway and cause the nerves to become entrapped at the base of the neck.

There are a variety of symptoms associated with thoracic outlet syndrome, but one of the most noticeable signs is pain that radiates down the shoulder and into the arm, often accompanied by a tingling or numbing sensation.

Referred Pain

In some cases, pain in the arm could be caused by another injury in the chest, shoulder, or other part of the body. Arm pain can even be an early warning sign of a heart or nervous system issue.

Symptoms of one condition can often mimic the symptoms of another, often leading to confusion when trying to understand your injury. It’s important to seek the help of a professional to ensure your condition is accurately diagnosed.

Exercises for Arm Pain

The best treatment for these injuries is prevention. Keeping your arms strong and flexible can help reduce the impact of daily stress and promote faster recovery when injuries do appear.

Building forearm and upper arm strength can help give your joints more support during activity. Stretching the muscles in your forearms, biceps, and triceps can help keep your arms mobile and tension-free. Watch the video below for more stretches and exercises to help reduce pain.