Arm pain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'critical'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose arm pain, we could:
|Thoracic Outlet Syndrome||20%||Unlikely|
|Heart Disease||2%||Ruled out|
|T4 Syndrome||0%||Ruled out|
|Compartment Syndrome||0%||Ruled out|
Do you suffer from pain in your arms that is hard to pinpoint?
Possible responses:→ Don't know
→ Yes, slight
→ Yes, moderate
→ Yes, severe
Arm pain due to angina is explained by the concept of referred pain: the same spinal level that receives nerve signals from the heart simultaneously receives sensation from certain areas of skin, without the ability to discriminate the two. The arms are typical locations for the referred pain, usually the inner left arm.
Compartment syndrome usually occurs in the legs, but very occasionally affects the arms.
Arm pain, usually in the left arm, can signal a heart attack or impending heart attack.
The pain of torticollis may spread to the arms or hands.