Painful Arm (one arm) Treatment
The treatment of arm pain depends on the underlying cause. Arm injuries, skin infections, joint infections, and arthritis are treated differently. Treatment for arm pain may include elevation, cold compresses, a splint, crutches, and anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment may include antibiotics, physical therapy, or surgery.
Treatment for arm pain may include:
- Avoid activities that cause pain.
- Rest the arm:
- Cold compresses
- Apply cold for the first 72 hours following an arm injury
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Apply a warm compress:
- Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours.
- Arm stretching exercises
- Arm physical therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
Painful Arm (one arm) Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat arm pain:
Continue to Painful Arm (one arm) Home Care
- Alpar EK, Killampalli VV. Idiopathic arm pain. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Jul;86-A(7):1387-91. 
- 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. 
- 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.