Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Arm Tenderness Overview

What is arm tenderness?
A person with arm tenderness has pain when pressure is applied to the skin over the arm. Arm tenderness is usually caused by infection, inflammation, or an injury to structures in the arm. Causes of arm tenderness include cellulitis, septic arthritis, tendinitis, arthritis, gout, and arm injury.

What are the symptoms of arm tenderness?
Symptoms that may occur with arm tenderness include arm pain, arm swelling, arm stiffness, and arm redness.

How does the doctor treat arm tenderness?
Treatment for arm tenderness depends on underlying cause. Treatment for arm tenderness may include rest, elevation, cold or warm compresses, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication, and antibiotics. Additional treatment may also include a splint, a cast, a sling, or surgery.

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Arm Tenderness References
  1. Alpar EK, Killampalli VV. Idiopathic arm pain. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Jul;86-A(7):1387-91. [15252084]
  2. Daffner SD, Hilibrand AS, Hanscom BS, Brislin BT, Vaccaro AR, Albert TJ. Impact of neck and arm pain on overall health status. Spine. 2003 Sep 1;28(17):2030-5. [12973155]
  3. Mitchell S, Reading I, Walker-Bone K, Palmer K, Cooper C, Coggon D. Pain tolerance in upper limb disorders: findings from a community survey. Occup Environ Med. 2003 Mar;60(3):217-21. [12598671]
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