Experiencing pain in the arm when doing any movement or carrying out a physical activity is something that perhaps we have all suffered at some time. In the arms, we find a large number of muscles, tendons, joints, bones and other connective tissues that can suffer injuries, either due to overuse, overloads, falls, blows, accidents, etc. When the discomfort we feel is located in only one arm, such as the right, it is normal for us to wonder what it means to have pain in the right arm and the answer can be found in muscle, joint, bone injuries, nerve problems, heart problems, among others. Continue reading this article to learn what the possible causes of right arm pain may be.
Pain in the right arm from injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments
In the arms, we find a large number of muscles, tendons and ligaments, in which a series of alterations and injuries can occur, either due to overload, when performing physical activity, after an accident or fall, etc. The most frequent injuries of this type that can cause pain in the right arm, which can even go from the shoulder to the elbow, are those listed below:
- Tendonitis: is the inflammation of a tendon that usually occurs due to muscle overload or injury. In the case of the arm, it usually occurs most often in the elbow, shoulder and wrist. Its main symptoms are pain and tenderness in the affected area and the intensification of this pain during the night or when performing any movement.
- Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa, which is a small fluid-filled sac that acts as a kind of cushion between bones and muscles, tendons, or skin. Normally, this inflammation is the result of repetitive movements of a joint or an injury and is manifested, especially, in the elbows and wrists. Its symptoms are pain, swelling, redness and stiffness in the affected joint.
- Epicondylitis: Better known as tennis elbow, it is a type of tendonitis that affects the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm with the outside of the elbow. It is usually the cause of excessive use of the muscles and tendons in the area and causes pain, burning and tenderness in the outer area of the elbow and more intense pain when performing actions with the hand or forearm.
- Epitrocleitis: Known as golfer's elbow is another type of tendonitis that can occur in the arm. In this case, the epitrochlea is inflamed, which is the common nucleus of the muscle group responsible for the flexion of the wrist, fingers and pronation of the forearm. It is usually the result of overuse or overload of the area, trauma and blows. Its main symptom is pain in the inner part of the elbow, tenderness, reduction of the force of the closure of the hand, feeling of numbness in the inner part of the arm and forearm.
- Sprains: These are injuries to the ligaments around a joint, it can occur in the wrist, elbow or shoulder. The affected ligaments are stretched or torn and symptoms such as pain, swelling, bruising, limited use of the joint, cramps and muscle spasms occur.
Pain in the right arm from bone injuries
Below, we mention the bone injuries that can cause pain in the right arm:
- Fractures: Occurs when an arm bone breaks completely or partially. It can be the result of direct blows to the arm, accidents, falls, osteoporosis, etc. They can be very painful and cause severe pain in the arm and shoulder, inflammation, inability to move the arm, abnormal position of the arm and numbness of the arm.
- Dislocations: occurs when a bone moves from its joint. Some of the most affected joints are the shoulder and elbow and causes symptoms such as pain, deformity, inflammation and inability to move the joint.
- Osteoarthritis: It is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage that protects the bones of the joints wears away and breaks. This causes symptoms such as pain, inflammation and stiffness of the joint that is affected. Among its main causes are heredity, overweight, muscle weakness, injuries to the joints or excessive use of them and aging.
Pain in the right arm due to infarction
Can pain in my right arm be a symptom of a heart attack? Although one of the symptoms that can alert us to the suffering of a myocardial infarction is the pain and numbness of the left arm, in some cases, such symptoms can also be experienced in the right arm. In addition to this, it is advisable to be attentive to the sudden appearance of symptoms such as intense chest pain, generalized discomfort, dizziness, nausea and sweating. The pain can radiate to other parts of the body such as the jaw, arms, neck, and back.
A heart attack occurs when there is an obstruction or narrowing of a coronary artery, so oxygen does not reach the myocardium and this, not being able to produce energy to move, causes the death of tissue cells. Among the main risk factors that increase the chances of suffering a myocardial infarction are hypertension, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle and advanced age. In the case of presenting some of the symptoms described above, it is essential to call emergencies as quickly as possible, since it is necessary to receive immediate medical attention for a favorable prognosis.
Pain in the right arm and hand from carpal tunnel syndrome
Another condition that may answer the question of what it means to have pain in your right arm is carpal tunnel syndrome. It occurs when there is excessive pressure on the median nerve of the wrist, which provides sensation and allows movement to other parts of the hand. This syndrome is common in those people who make repetitive and continuous movements with the hand and wrist, such as writing on the computer, using the mouse, playing musical instruments, playing sports, etc. Other factors that can increase the chances of developing it are fractures, arthritis, obesity, fluid retention, infections, etc.
In addition to pain in the hand or wrist that can spread to the elbow, other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers or palm of the hand.
- Clumsiness when picking up or grabbing objects with your hand.
- Coordination problems in one or both hands.
- Weakness in the hands.
- In advanced cases, atrophy of the muscle located under the thumb.
In the following article, we give some good tips to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pain in the right arm from fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by the suffering of widespread musculoskeletal pain that manifests itself in different parts of the body, and the arms, either the right or the left, and the shoulders can also be affected. It is a pain that patients describe as burning, pulsating, with sensitivity and stiffness; it varies according to the time of day, the weather, the activity that is carried out, stress, etc. Other symptoms that people with fibromyalgia may present are:
- Muscle stiffness.
- Numbness of hands and feet.
- Memory problems.
- Difficulty falling asleep.
Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it has been pointed out that this condition is more frequent in middle-aged women and in patients with arthritis or autoimmune diseases. In the following article, we show some tips for relieving fibromyalgia pain.