Arm pain

Updated: 2018-05-25


Take a break from activities that cause pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), can help ease pain.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Sudden, with pain radiating down left arm
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Numbness, burning, or tingling
  • Caused by trauma, especially if there's an obvious injury
  • Difficulty moving or twisting arm

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • No improvement with home care
  • Pain, numbness, swelling worsens
  • Limits ability to work, sleep, or perform daily tasks