Arm Injuries and Disorders

Of the 206 bones in your body, 3 of them are in your arm; the humerus, radius and ulna.

Of the 206 bones in your body, 3 of them are in your arm; the humerus, radius and ulna. Your arms are also made up of muscles, joints, tendons and other connective tissue. Injuries to any of these parts of the arm can occur during sports, a fall or an accident.

Types of arm injuries include

  • Tendinitis and bursitis
  • Sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Broken bones

Some nerve problems, arthritis, or cancers can affect the entire arm and cause pain, spasms, swelling and trouble moving. You may also have problems or injure specific parts of your arm, such as your hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder.

See your doctor right away if you have:

  • Arm, shoulder or back pain that occurs with any sort of exertion and is relieved by rest — possibly signaling heart disease or chest discomfort caused by reduced blood flow to your heart muscle (angina)
  • A sudden injury to your arm, particularly if you hear a snap or cracking sound
  • Severe pain and swelling in your arm
  • Trouble moving your arm normally or turning your arm from palm up to palm down and vice versa

Most other types of arm pain will get better on their own, especially if you start R.I.C.E. measures soon after your injury.

  • Rest. Take a break from your normal activities.
  • Ice. Place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day.
  • Compression. Use a compression bandage to reduce swelling.
  • Elevation. If possible, elevate your arm to help reduce swelling.