Arm Pain Specialists

Maryland | Pennsylvania | Florida | Virginia


Living with arm pain can have a profound impact on your daily routine, making once simple tasks like typing, writing, or dressing a challenge. This common condition stems from a variety of sources, ranging from sudden injuries to chronic conditions like nerve compression or musculoskeletal disorders. The restrictions imposed by pain in arms can disrupt work, leisure activities, and even essential self-care.

At Pain and Spine Specialists, we are specialists in providing pain management for arm injuries and chronic arm pain. Our comprehensive approach aims to alleviate arm pain symptoms through conventional, interventional, alternative therapies. Our hand and arm specialists understand that arm pain can severely impact daily activities, which is why we strive to provide personalized care and treatment plans for each patient we treat.

If you're ready to heal from arm pain, our arm doctors are here to help. Please call one of our offices in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, or Virginia or schedule an appointment online today. To learn more about our services use the buttons below:

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Digital Guide

A comprehensive guide with information about the causes, symptoms, and chronic arm pain treatment options. You will also find information about our specialists in MarylandPennsylvaniaFlorida, and Virginia.

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We Accept All Insurances

Individualized Patient Care

Board Certified Doctors

Patients Seen Within Two Weeks

Understanding Arm Pain

Arm pain refers to any discomfort or soreness experienced in the structures of the arm, including muscles, bones, joints, and nerves. This sensation can vary from mild aches to sharp, debilitating pain, such as burning pain in arm muscles. Understanding the underlying causes of arm pain is essential for effective management and treatment.

How common is arm pain?

Arm pain is a common complaint affecting a significant portion of the population. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, around 31% of Americans experience arm pain. That's over nine million people. Many individuals experience episodes of pain in lower arms or upper arms due to various reasons, such as overuse, injury, or underlying medical conditions.

Certain demographics, such as athletes, manual laborers, and older adults, may be more prone to experiencing arm pain due to their specific activities or age-related factors, including shooting pain on left arm.

Arm pain can manifest in different parts of the arm, including the:

A collage of arm pain images showing pain regions.

Common Causes of Arm Pain

Many underlying causes can trigger arm pain, such as:

  • Overuse: When the arm muscles are subjected to repetitive movements or excessive strain, it can lead to overuse injuries, resulting in persistent pain and discomfort. This type of injury commonly affects individuals involved in activities that require repetitive arm motions.
  • Injuries: Trauma from falls, accidents, or sports-related incidents can cause a range of injuries, such as sprains, strains, fractures, or dislocations, all of which can lead to significant arm pain. Seeking prompt medical attention after arm muscle injuries is crucial for proper diagnosis and broken arm pain management.
  • Muscle Strain: Abrupt or excessive muscle contractions, often seen during weightlifting or sudden movements, can lead to muscle strain and subsequent discomfort in the arm. Proper warm-up routines and technique awareness can help prevent these types of injuries.
  • Nerve Compression: Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or cervical radiculopathy can result in nerve compression, leading to arm pain, tingling, and numbness. Addressing the underlying cause of nerve compression is essential for managing arm pain effectively.
  • Arthritis: Inflammatory joint conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can affect the joints in the arm, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. Early intervention and appropriate treatment strategies can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis-related arm pain.

Risk Factors for Arm Pain

Certain risk factors can make individuals more susceptible to developing arm pain.

For example, advanced age is often associated with arm pain as older adults may experience degeneration of joints and muscles over time, leading to discomfort and reduced mobility in the arms.

Certain occupations that require repetitive arm movements or heavy lifting can significantly increase the likelihood of developing arm pain. Workers in professions like assembly line workers, construction workers, or painters are particularly susceptible to such issues.

Also, athletes who participate in sports that place high stress on the arms, such as tennis, baseball, or weightlifting, are at a higher risk of sustaining injuries that result in arm pain. Proper training techniques and injury prevention strategies are crucial for minimizing the risk of arm-related issues in athletes.

Finally, individuals with underlying health conditions like diabetes or obesity may be more prone to nerve compression and musculoskeletal problems that lead to arm pain. Effectively managing these health conditions through lifestyle changes and proper medical care can help mitigate the risk of arm pain associated with these factors.

Arm Pain Signs and Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of arm pain can manifest in various ways, serving as indicators of underlying issues that require attention.

Persistent or intermittent pain in the arm, varying from dull aches to sharp, shooting sensations, may worsen with specific movements, hindering daily tasks. Swelling, tenderness, or redness in the affected area can accompany the arm pain, indicating potential inflammation or injury.

Changes in range of motion, stiffness, or weakness in arm muscles could be observed by individuals experiencing arm pain, suggesting musculoskeletal issues or nerve involvement. Tingling or numbness in the arm or fingers, often described as a pins and needles sensation, may indicate nerve compression or related conditions. It's crucial to monitor these sensory changes as they could signify nerve impingement or damage along the arm's pathway, prompting the need for medical evaluation and appropriate treatment.

A person in black and white holding their arm with a highlighted red pain region

Living with Chronic Arm Pain

Simple tasks like reaching for objects, typing on a keyboard, or even getting dressed can become arduous and painful for people with chronic arm pain. The persistent discomfort can lead to sleep disturbances, mood changes, and decreased productivity. Coping with chronic arm pain often requires adopting various strategies and lifestyle adjustments to manage the condition effectively.

Some of the changes you can make to ease arm pain include:

  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in low-impact exercises like swimming or gentle stretching can help maintain arm strength and flexibility while reducing pain levels. Physical activity promotes blood flow, which aids in healing and can alleviate stiffness associated with arm pain.
  • Ergonomic Workspace Setup: Ensuring proper ergonomics at work or home by adjusting chair height, desk setup, and computer peripherals can prevent strain on the arms and shoulders. Implementing ergonomic principles reduces the risk of exacerbating arm pain during prolonged periods of sitting or typing.
  • Healthy Diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and manage pain associated with conditions like arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper nutrition can also alleviate pressure on joints and muscles in the arms.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises can lower stress levels, which may exacerbate arm pain. Managing stress effectively can improve overall well-being and help individuals cope better with chronic arm discomfort.
  • Proper Rest and Sleep: Creating a relaxing bedtime routine and ensuring adequate rest is essential for managing arm pain. Restorative sleep allows the body to repair and recover, potentially reducing pain intensity for individuals with chronic arm pain.

Despite making lifestyle adjustments, some people living with arm pain might find that the discomfort doesn't lessen. When this happens, it's best to consult medical professionals, such as our Pain and Spine Specialists team.


Diagnosing Arm Pain

Properly diagnosing arm pain requires a thorough evaluation of many different steps by a qualified arm pain doctor.

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Four blue blocks with icons that represent the consultation process at Pain and Spine Specialists

Review of Medical History

Understanding the patient's medical background, including past injuries, surgeries, and existing conditions, is essential for evaluating the development and progression of chronic arm pain. This review by a doctor arm specialist helps uncover potential triggers and underlying factors contributing to the pain.

Physical Examination

A comprehensive physical assessment allows our specialists to evaluate a range of motion, muscle strength, and areas of tenderness in the arms. Through physical examinations, specific regions of pain can be identified, and the severity of the condition can be assessed accurately.

Diagnostic Imaging

Advanced imaging techniques, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, enable detailed visualization of internal structures like bones, joints, and soft tissues. These diagnostic tools aid in detecting abnormalities such as fractures, dislocations, or degenerative changes that may be responsible for arm pain.

Nerve Tests

In cases where nerve involvement is suspected, nerve conduction studies or electromyography (EMG) tests may be conducted to assess nerve function and identify any abnormalities. These tests are instrumental in diagnosing conditions like nerve compression or peripheral neuropathy contributing to arm pain.

Diagnostic Nerve Blocks

Diagnostic nerve blocks, such as facet joint injections, epidural steroid injections, SI joint injections, and medial branch blocks, may be administered for precise diagnosis and therapeutic interventions. These injections help pinpoint the source of pain by temporarily numbing specific nerves or joints, facilitating accurate diagnosis, and guiding personalized treatment strategies tailored to each patient's needs.

A pain management doctor conducting a physical examination on a patient with arm pain

Arm Pain Treatment Options

After accurately diagnosing the underlying cause of arm pain, our team at Pain and Spine Specialists may recommend treatment options to help manage the condition. Treatment plans are individualized to meet each patient's specific needs and may include one or more interventions for arm pain.

The most recommended arm pain treatment approaches at Pain and Spine Specialists include:

  • Epidural Steroid Injections: Epidural steroid injections reduce inflammation around the spinal nerves and can alleviate arm pain originating from nerve compression in the spine. This treatment can relieve pain and improve overall function for individuals experiencing radiating arm pain.
  • Intrathecal Pain Pump: Implanted to deliver medication directly into the intrathecal space surrounding the spinal cord, an intrathecal pain pump can provide continuous pain relief for chronic arm pain. By delivering medications like opioids or local anesthetics directly to the source of pain, this pump offers targeted and effective pain management.
  • Lysis of Adhesions: Lysis of Adhesions is a procedure performed to break down scar tissue or adhesions that may restrict movement and cause pain in the arm.
  • Medication Management: Medication management involves using oral medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants, to manage pain and inflammation in the arms. Medication management aims to control symptoms and improve comfort for individuals dealing with chronic arm pain.
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulation: Peripheral nerve stimulation involves implanting electrodes near peripheral nerves to deliver electrical impulses that disrupt pain signals, offering relief for chronic arm pain. It can modulate nerve activity, reduce pain perception, and improve arm function without the need for systemic medications.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation: Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to target nerves, transmit pain signals, and provide long-lasting pain relief in the arms. Radiofrequency ablation can disrupt nerve function, reducing pain intensity and duration for individuals with chronic arm pain caused by nerve-related conditions.
  • Shoulder Injections: Shoulder injections can alleviate discomfort caused by conditions like arthritis or rotator cuff injuries when administered to reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain from shoulder down arm. They may offer targeted relief, improving mobility and function in the affected arm.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation: Spinal cord stimulation involves implanting a device that delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord to modulate pain signals, offering relief for chronic arm pain. It can effectively manage neuropathic arm pain and reduce the need for opioid medications.
  • Stellate Ganglion Blocks: Employed to block sympathetic nerves in the neck, stellate ganglion blocks can effectively manage pain in the arms, hands, and fingers. By disrupting pain signals from reaching the brain, these blocks offer relief from conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) that creates pain in the upper arm.
  • Trigger Point Injections: Trigger point injections can alleviate localized pain and muscle tension by targeting specific knots or trigger points in the muscles of the arms. This treatment helps relax tight muscles, improve blood circulation, and reduce discomfort associated with myofascial pain syndromes.

Choose Pain and Spine Specialists for Arm Pain Management

At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of experienced physicians is dedicated to providing comprehensive pain management services for a wide range of conditions. We specialize in diagnosing and treating arm pain caused by various underlying issues, using advanced techniques and personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's needs.

If you're experiencing persistent arm pain or discomfort that interferes with your daily activities, seek medical attention at Pain and Spine Specialists. Our team can help accurately diagnose the cause of your arm pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to improve your quality of life and manage your symptoms effectively. Don't let arm pain hold you back any longer. Contact us today, either online or by phone, for expert care and compassionate support.

A diagram of the nerves in the arm

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If you would like more information about the arm pain therapies we offer, please call Pain and Spine Specialists and speak to our dedicated team of specialists.

*We accept workers' comp and personal injury claim patients

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We Accept All Insurances!

That includes Medicare and state Medicaid.

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Usually within one week of the initial call.

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At Pain and Spine Specialists we provide comprehensive pain care while offering the most up-to-date minimally invasive techniques. Our ethos is to treat each patient (and potential patient) as if they were a family member.

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