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Upper arm and shoulder pain can be caused by many reasons, but the most common are sprains, strains and overuse. There are self-care steps, which will have to be taken if you experience pain of this kind. But there are also some more serious causes of upper arm and shoulder pain, which can cause severe consequences if the pain and problem are not treated. In the following text we will talk more about the possible causes of the pain in question.


Like we have said, there are many factors that contribute to the development of upper arm and shoulder pain. Inflammation of the sac filled with fluid is called bursitis and it can be responsible for the upper arm and shoulder pain. A feeling similar to the electric shock can be felt when we stretch the head away from the shoulder and this is what usually occurs when we play sports. This can lead to the upper arm and shoulder pain as well. A tendon can become inflamed due to an injury or an overuse. Pain in this area can be felt when the tendon, which attaches the upper and the bicep muscles, is affected. Carpal tunnel syndrome can eventually cause the weakness and pain in the arm and shoulder.

Physical trauma can cause thoracic outlet syndrome, which can be responsible for the numbness and pain in the upper arm and shoulder. The ligaments, muscles and tendons can become stiff and this condition is called frozen shoulder syndrome, and it is known as the producer of upper arm and shoulder pain. When the head of the arm is dislocated, the person suffers from a dislocated shoulder, which inflicts a very serious pain. Mild to severe upper arm and shoulder pain can be a result of the sprain or a strain. Rotator cuff can cause upper arm and shoulder weakness and pain, which will probably become aggravated during the night. This condition is tendon inflammation and a form of tendonitis. Also, you should know that nausea or sweating without or with chest discomfort, breath shortness, chess pressure and pain in the arms, neck and shoulder can signal heart attack.

Treatment and Home Care

The cause will determine the way of the treatment, but there are self-care steps you can take if you are suffering from an overuse, strain or a sprain of upper arm and shoulder. These are common injuries and can be treated at home, while some other more serious causes will need medical help. Try to rest the shoulder for several days or protect it if you cannot rest it. Do not go to the work or school until the pain decreases, place ice pack on the sore spot three times during the day for 15-20 minutes. The arm should be in the elevated position since this will decrease the swelling, and know that over-the-counter painkillers can help with the pain.

Go to the hospital if you are having symptoms of a heart attack that we have mentioned, or if you see a deformity or a protruding bone from the arm or a shoulder. Also, if you cannot more your arm, or if the swelling or pain is too severe, you need to go to the hospital. If you hear a cracking sound or a snap during the shoulder or arm injury, or if the pain appears with no activity but it reduces when you take rest, you have to see a doctor. If you are having mild problems with upper arm and shoulder pain for more than 2 weeks, you need to see your doctor.

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