Minor arm problems, such as sore muscles, are common. Symptoms often develop from everyday wear and tear or overuse. Arm problems may be minor or serious and may include symptoms such as pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, or changes in temperature or colour.
Older adults have a greater chance of having arm problems because they lose muscle mass as they age. Children may have arm problems because they are usually more active than adults and their bones and muscles are growing more quickly. They may also have arm problems for the same reasons as adults.
Your arm problem may be caused by sports or hobbies, work-related tasks, and work or projects around the home. Arm problems can also be caused by injuries. If you think your arm problem is caused by an injury, see the topic Arm Injuries.
It may be helpful to know the structure of the arm to better understand arm problems. See a picture of bones of the arm.
Common arm problems that are not caused by a specific injury, such as a blow or fall, include the following:
Most minor arm problems will usually get better on their own, and home treatment may be all that is needed to relieve symptoms and promote healing.
Use the Check Your Symptoms section to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
If your arm problem does not require an evaluation by a doctor, you may be able to use home treatment to help relieve pain, swelling, stiffness or muscle cramps.
|Try a non-prescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child’s doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
|Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a non-prescription medicine:|
Use the Check Your Symptoms section to evaluate your symptoms if any of the following occur during home treatment:
The following tips may prevent arm problems.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||February 25, 2011|
Last Revised: February 25, 2012
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.