Pain in any part of the body is not fun to any mom or child. In some cases, however, it can indicate a potentially serious medical problem especially when it comes to the arms, according to the Mayo Clinic and Family Doctor websites. While most conditions causing unwanted arm and hand pain are treatable, others can quickly escalate into a life-threatening medical emergency. Learning the difference between arm or hand pain from doing too much housework and pain associated with a potential infection can sometimes literally mean the difference between life and death.
Pain that radiates into your left arm is one of the first signs of a heart attack, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, if your arm pain is accompanied by chest pain, you might need immediate medical attention.
Whenever you notice arm or hand pain, you should ask yourself several key questions to identify possible causes, according to Family Doctor. An injury is one of the most common causes of hand, wrist and arm pain. However, if you did not recently sustain an injury, you could have an infection causing the problem.
Arm and hand pain can also include numbness, according to Family Doctor and the Mayo Clinic. Common causes beyond injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome caused through repetitive activities, such as typing, or the inflammation known as bursitis.
Potentially Serious Causes
Potentially serious causes of arm and hand pain, beyond a heart attack or significant injury, include rheumatoid arthritis, gout and ganglion cysts. Ganglion cysts are not cancerous, but they may require surgery if they grow significantly fast. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that may cause pain in other parts of the body; the infection known as gout can also cause unwanted sensations in other limbs.
Some arm and hand pain can become potentially crippling if not promptly treated, according to Family Doctor. You can also contract an infection that could escalate into a life-threatening situation, especially if you notice red marks, streaking or unusual colors around a cut or possible fracture. Some cases of mild arm and hand pain are treatable with rest and over-the-counter painkillers; if you suspect gout or another condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, you may need more advanced medical treatment, including prescription medications, and surgery in some cases.
- chain image by DXfoto.com from Fotolia.com