Introduction to Aching Arms
Each of us has at least once experienced pain in the upper extremities. In majority of cases such pain is associated with excessive exercise or repeated and vigorously performed activities with specific group of muscles. In such cases the pain withdraws after a day or two and is not a reason for concern. However, pain in the arms may be a consequence of some more serious medical conditions and if it lasts for a longer period of time or even progresses one should consult his/her doctor in order to identify the underlying cause.
The pain associated with aching arms can range from mild to rather severe and it occurs either sporadically or is present all the time. Furthermore, the very location of the pain may vary. While some people complain about pain located in one part of the arm (for example, the wrist) others may feel pain that starts at one site and then radiates towards other parts of the arm or even to the shoulder and neck.
What Are Possible Causes of Aching Arms?
In many cases such pain is connected with muscle fatigue. Namely, different vigorous physical activities (sports, exercises, lifting heavy objects etc.) are connected with muscle strain. Every time the muscle or a groups of muscles is over-stretched the pain occurs. This type of pain affects the specific area or spreads towards the shoulder or the neck.
Furthermore, aching pain may be a characteristic of many musculoskeletal disorders. For example, it affects people suffering from a variety of inflammatory conditions of the musculoskeletal system such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis etc. Furthermore, inflammation of the specific nerves leads to several syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome. The irritation of the nerves leads to pain and patients additionally complain about different symptoms depending on the affected nerve. And finally, fractures of different bones of the arm are always accompanied by pain of different intensity.
Apart from the previously mentioned there are several more causes of aching arms. Heart attack usually leads to pain in the chest but this pain may also radiate down the arm. Pain in the arms may also be caused by brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is an arrangement of nerve fibers that innervate all the muscles in the arm. Aching arms also affect people suffering from certain types of cancer such as lung caner (the one that affects the apex of the lungs), breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes in the axilla etc. It is essential to mention postherpetic neuralgia. This is a complication of shingles. If the virus has caused damage to nerves innervating the arm patients may have to deal with postherpetic neuralgia of this part of the body.