Bursitis and tendinitis are both common conditions that cause swelling around muscles and bones which can result in arm pain. Tendinitis usually occurs after repeated injury to a certain area such as the wrist or ankle. Tendons become less flexible with age and become more prone to damage. Arm pain may also be referred from problem in the neck.
Doing the same kinds of movements everyday or putting stress on joints increases the risk for both conditions. People like carpenters, gardeners, musicians, and athletes often get bursitis or tendinitis resulting in arm pain.
Pain in the arm and hand, left untreated, may lead to a painful neurological condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy).
Another condition that may cause arm pain is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) whose symptoms may include pain, swelling, skin discoloration, hypersensitivity to touch, reduced range of motion, temperature changes and muscle weakness. Nerve blocks including sympathetic nerve blocks and medications help break the cycle of pain.
Tennis elbow is an injury to the tendon in the outer elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis). Golfer’s elbow affects the inner tendon of the elbow. Any activity that involves a lot of wrist turning or hand gripping, such as using tools, shaking hands, or twisting, can bring on these conditions. Pain occurs near the elbow. It can also travel into the upper arm or forearm.