Acute pain in the arm is characterized by a sudden onset of mild discomfort to severe, manifesting anywhere from wrist to shoulder. The main causes of acute pain in the arm include damage to bones, muscles and tendons of the affected limb. Less frequently, infections and diseases can cause this condition. On physical examination, diagnostic tests and consideration of the factors surrounding the onset of discomfort help determine the cause and treatment for acute pain right arm.
Acute pain of the arm can be traumatic or non-traumatic. Traumatic causes are the most common cause of this disorder, reports MayoClinic.com. Non-traumatic causes are frequently related to accidents, falls, sports injuries and hard hits. Among the major causes of acute nontraumatic arm pain include infections and heart disease.
Fractures of the bones of the arm are a common cause of acute arm pain in children and adults. Fall onto an outstretched arm firmly commonly leads to a fractured forearm. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that 40 to 50 percent of all fractures in children occur in the forearm. This type of fall-related fractures are common in older adults, especially those who suffer from osteoporosis. Fractures of the arm and elbow are less common than the forearm. Getting hit in the arm can cause injury to the soft tissue called a contusion. Acute pain, swelling and bruising commonly accompany this injury. Injuries pull hard, lifting and twisting can cause dislocation of joints and muscle tears, tendon or ligament.Traumatic causes Nontraumatic causes
Bacterial infection of the skin of the arm is a common cause of acute nontraumatic arm pain. Cellulite commonly occurs in a sensitive, warm, red and swollen skin rapidly expands outward to spread the infection area, says the Merck Manual for Health Professionals. So overall , cellulite is accompanied by fever. Stroke is potentially a cause of non-traumatic acute arm pain that threatens life. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute notes that the pain related to the heart may occur in one or both arms and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as chest discomfort, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, profuse sweating and dizziness .
The diagnosis of the underlying cause of acute arm pain begins by determining when and how the pain began. Then, doctors perform a physical examination to assess the structure and function of the arm and detect other physical findings that may lead to the underlying cause of pain. An evaluation of traumatic arm injury including X-rays or other imaging studies to visualize bones and other structures of the arm, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Usually blood tests and ECG are useful for evaluating a non-traumatic acute pain arm.
Depending on the severity of the injury, the treatment of acute pain in the arm is between the use of ice and counter painkillers to surgery, a cast and several physiotherapy sessions. Antibiotics are the first form of treatment for acute arm pain caused by cellulite. The arm pain associated with a heart attack requires emergency medical care to restore blood flow to the heart. The treatment for other causes of this condition depends on the underlying cause.