Treatments for Arm Pain
Possible treatments for arm pain depend on the underlying cause or condition and may include exercises, physical therapy, or oral or topical therapies. Other arm pain treatments include superficial muscle injections, epidural steroid injections or joint injections; transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; and nerve blocks. The caring providers at Balcones Pain Consultants consider both alternative and holistic treatments as well as medical methods for treating different types of arm pain.
Acupuncture to Treat Arm Pain
An ancient healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is a noninvasive technique that can be effective at treating pain. It involves stimulating specific points on the body with extremely fine, sterile needles to promote the natural healing process. Acupuncture can be a beneficial component of treatment for shoulder, arm and wrist pain conditions such as bursitis, arthritis, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Treatments for Inflammatory Conditions
A treatment plan for bursitis, arthritis and tendinitis can also include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or acupuncture. Medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) can also reduce pain and inflammation. Pain from inflammatory conditions can also be successfully treated with epidural steroid injections or physical therapy.
Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist Pain Treatments
Treatment for arm and wrist pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome or De Quervain’s tendinitis is typically a combination of wrist splinting, medications and lifestyle changes. NSAIDs and corticosteroids can help relieve pain, along with cold packs applied periodically to the pain site.
Pain from shoulder conditions such as rotator cuff injuries and frozen shoulder can be treated with physical therapy along with NSAIDs and alternating heat and cold packs. In the case of a dislocated shoulder or elbow, the bones must first be moved back into proper alignment and then the joint must be immobilized. The pain of a dislocated shoulder or elbow can intensify during manipulation of the bones; for this reason, muscle relaxants, pain medication or sedatives may be used while correcting the alignment.
The pain of a dislocated joint should greatly reduce once the alignment has been completed. After a period of immobilization and once the joint has had time to begin the healing process, physical therapy is an important part of restoring full range of motion. Further use of pain medications or muscle relaxations may also be necessary throughout the healing process.
Other Arm Pain Conditions
Pain from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (also referred to as chronic regional pain syndrome) can be treated with rehabilitative exercise programs along with drugs like NSAIDs, opioids or corticosteroids. Topical anesthetic creams and patches can also be part of an effective treatment regimen for this condition, as well as measures to address the emotional components of the condition, such as stress, anxiety or depression.
Pain and stiffness resulting from an arm sprain, fracture or broken bone can be treated with a variety of methods. The combination of pain medications, especially NSAIDs, along with ice applications and a cast, bandage or splint can greatly reduce pain after an injury of this type. Some people continue experiencing chronic pain following an arm injury, however, even after the tissues or bone fracture has healed. In this case, longer-term arm pain treatment might include physical therapy, medications and exercises. Treatment of chronic arm pain following an injury might also include injections, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or nerve blocks.
Videos About Potential Arm Pain Treatments
- Intrathecal Pump Implant
- Joint Injection: Shoulder
- PRP for Rotator cuff
- Radial Nerve Block
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant (Trial Procedure)
- Subacromial Injection
- Suprascapular Nerve Block
- Trigger Point Injections