Arm pain is a common problem. Besides the fact that they are heavily used in everyday life, our arms are made up of muscles, joints and tendons, any of which can be a potential source of pain. However, arm pain can also come from elsewhere in the body, in which case it is a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If you experience pain in your right arm, it is likely to be caused by a problem with your bones, muscles, tendons, joints or nerves.
Symptoms of right arm pain
Right arm pain can manifest itself in a number of ways. You could have a short or stabbing pain, and the pain may be confined to a specific area or more widespread. It may come on or get worse during a specific movement, get worse at night-time or ease off with rest, or be the result of an injury, and your arm may also become swollen or misshapen. The pain may also be accompanied by a burning or electric shock sensation, or pins and needles.
Causes of right arm pain
Right arm pain can have a number of causes. It could be a musculoskeletal pain such as a sprain, pulled or strained muscle, bursitis or tendinitis (tennis elbow). This is often the case for right-handed people. The pain could also be due to an issue with your joints, such as osteoarthritis in your shoulder or elbow, or with your nerves (e.g. a pinched nerve in your neck due to neck osteoarthritis for example, or a pinched peripheral nerve). Other problems that may explain a pain in the right arm include bone tumours (which can cause stabbing pains that get worse at night-time), a slipped disc, or overuse of the arm (e.g. from playing a sport).
Treating right arm pain
If the pain in your right arm is benign, it can be alleviated with rest and painkillers. If you have tendinitis, your doctor will prescribe rest for your arm along with anti-inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy. If the pain is due to a nerve problem, treating this underlying cause will help to relieve the pain. Finally, if the cause of the pain is a fractured bone in your arm, you will need to have a plaster cast and follow this up with a course of physiotherapy.
There are also some solutions which offer drug-free relief from certain types of arm pain. This is a key feature of the OMRON HeatTens range of pain relievers — using a combination of soothing heat and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation(TENS), these devices can give you effective relief from joint and muscle pain.