Sore or painful arms are common but should not be taken lightly.
Pain in any part of your arms can prevent you from carrying out your daily activities. You use your arms for just about everything, such as lifting, holding, grabbing, and throwing.
Mild pain in the arms is usually the result of a poor sleeping position, poor blood circulation, exercising or playing sports, or repetitive motions.
Some possible causes of severe arm pain include a pinched nerve, sprain, tendonitis, rotator cuff injury, broken bone, rheumatoid arthritis, angina and even a heart attack.
Depending on the cause, the pain may start suddenly and go away or it may increase gradually.
Apart from pain, other symptoms associated with arm problems include swelling or cramps, redness, stiffness and swollen lymph nodes under the arm. The symptoms can be in one or both arms and can affect the wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
Minor arm pain usually resolves on its own. Also, there are a few natural remedies that can help you deal with arm problems and pain, and help your arm to heal.
Caution: See a doctor immediately if the pain is severe.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for arm pain.
For mild arm pain, the best thing you can do is rest.
Proper rest is a key component for repairing soft tissue damage that often occurs with minor pain. On the other hand, ongoing strain will cause more inflammation and pain, and delay the healing time.
For the first 24 to 72 hours, allow the painful arm to rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous exercise and movement. Also, do not type or do anything to make the sore arm feel worse. This will ensure quick reduction of swelling.
2. Cold Compress
Arm pain can be treated with cold compresses. However, it is effective primarily during the initial stage.
The cold temperature helps make the tissue in the painful area numb, therefore alleviating pain. It also helps reduce inflammation.
- Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap the bag in a thin towel.
- Place it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat a few times daily for a few days.
You can also soak a towel in cold water and apply it on the painful arm.
Caution: Do not place ice directly on the skin. It can cause frostbite.
3. Hot Compress
Just like cold compresses, hot compresses can help treat arm pain. However, for the hot compress to be effective, only use it after 48 hours from when the injury occurred or the pain began.
Heat increases the blood flow to the area, which in turn will decrease stiffness and pain.
- Fill a hot water bag with hot water and apply it on the aching arm for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat a few times a day until you get complete relief.
- Also, you can stand in the shower and run warm to slightly hot water on your arm for 5 to 10 minutes. Do this twice daily.
Wrapping the affected area with a compression bandage or elastic bandage can help reduce swelling and encourage healing.
Compression puts even pressure on the painful area. Also, it gives ample support to your painful arm. It even helps you move around more comfortably.
Compress the affected area by wrapping it with an elastic bandage, which you can buy from the drug store. Use the compression wrap for a few days, or until the pain and swelling are gone.
Caution: Do not wrap the area too tightly. It can lead to poor circulation and worsen the condition. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness or swelling in the area below the bandage.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to reduce arm pain is to keep the painful area elevated. Elevation promotes proper blood flow to the area and elimination of waste products to speed up the healing process.
It also keeps pressure off the injury, makes you more comfortable and provides support.
Use 1 or 2 pillows under your arm while resting or sleeping. If necessary, use a sling to keep your arm elevated.
Caution: Do not elevate your arm so high that you don’t get adequate blood supply.
Massaging the affected area using gentle pressure can help with pain. Massage improves blood circulation, which in turn helps repair the damaged tissue faster.
A gentle massage also helps release stress and tension in the area.
- Warm up a little sesame, mustard, coconut, or olive oil for a few seconds in the microwave.
- Rub the warm oil on the painful part of your arm.
- Massage gently using a little pressure to increase blood circulation and relieve pain.
- Do it a few times a day for several days.
You can also go get a massage regularly from a professional, which may prove helpful.
Caution: If massaging hurts too much, don’t do it until your pain level decreases.