Nerve inflammation on the arm

What is Nerve Inflammation on the Arm?

An inflammation of the nerves in the arm is an inflammatory change in one or more nerves in the arm. Mono- or polyneuritis). Depending on the severity and localization, severe pain can occur, which can extend over the entire arm.

The nerve inflammation in the arm often occurs as part of pain (so-called Brutality), which is caused by irritation of the nerve plexus on the arm. Therapy often takes the form of painkillers and physiotherapy, depending on the cause.

The reasons

Nerve inflammation in the arm can have different causes. Often the cause is not clearly clear and rather a combination of various factors that lead to an inflammatory reaction.

An inflammation of one or more nerves in the arm and the associated pain can result, for example, from an infection by various bacteria, such as clostridia, mycoplasma or corynebacteria. Medicines or toxic substances can also cause nerve inflammation.

Another possibility is autoimmune diseases in which the body makes antibodies that attack the myelin sheath. A myelin sheath wraps, protects, and isolates the nerve. If this sheath is destroyed as part of an autoimmune process, the nerve is damaged. This leads to nerve conduction disorders and also pain.

An accident with an injury to the arm is also a possible cause, since the damage can cause a long-term inflammatory reaction.

A mastectomy, i.e. surgical removal of the breast, for example after breast cancer, can also lead to inflammation and damage to the nerves in the arm area.

Mechanical pull on the nerves

When a nerve in the arm becomes inflamed, there is a structural change in the nerve tissue. Most of the time, the focus is on demyelination, i.e. the destruction of the myelin sheath, which acts as a covering for the nerves and the transmission of nerve signals. This can occur, for example, when the nerve is in too close proximity to other structures, such as muscle tendons or bones, due to a strong mechanical pull.

Find out more about the topic here Nerve damage

The symptoms

In the case of a nerve inflammation in the arm, the main symptom is pain. These are mostly pulling pains along one or more nerve courses. Depending on the progression of the inflammation, attacks or constant dull pain may be present. In some cases, the pain is aggravated by certain movements or physical activity, or occurs more frequently at night. The pain can often be relieved by massaging the appropriate areas.

As possible accompanying symptoms, certain movements can lead to a tingling sensation or a strange feeling in certain parts of the arm or hand. These symptoms are also known as paresthesias and are caused by irritation of the nerve from the inflammation.

In some cases, muscle pain or even a regression of the muscles can occur, as these can no longer be adequately supplied by the nerves. As a result, the muscles can no longer be moved and are broken down.

Find out more about the topics here:

  • Nerve inflammation
  • These symptoms will help you recognize inflammation of the nerves

Pain as the leading symptom

Pain is usually the leading symptom of nerve inflammation in the arm. They often come about when the myelin sheath, i.e. the covering of the nerve fibers, is damaged during the inflammation and the nerve is thereby exposed to direct contact with surrounding structures.

Depending on the localization, the pain can occur in the entire arm along the nerve course and is often pulling or stabbing and can be aggravated depending on the movement.

The diagnosis

An inflammation of nerves in the arm is easy or difficult to diagnose depending on the cause.

For example, if there is an infection, antibodies against the virus or bacteria causing the infection can usually be found in the blood. The clinical examination to determine the extent of the inflammation is of decisive importance in each case. Electronurography or electromyography can also be done to test the functioning of the nerves or muscles that are innervated by the nerves.

Read more about one here Electromyography

The therapy options

When treating a nerve inflammation in the arm, the cause and severity of the inflammation are always important.

If, for example, an infection is the reason, it is treated with the respective antibiotics in the case of bacterial inflammation and with the corresponding antivirals in the case of viral inflammation.

If there is a trauma or accident, it often has to be treated surgically and the arm usually has to be spared for a while if a bone breaks.

In general, various pain relievers that reduce inflammation can be used as medication. Depending on the severity, this includes, for example, ibuprofen or preparations containing cortisone. The latter are intended to contain the immune reaction that causes the nerve to become inflamed. In some cases, local anesthesia can also lead to an acute reduction in pain.

If the nerve inflammation in the arm results in restricted mobility or a tingling sensation in certain areas of the arm, additional supportive physiotherapy is always recommended.


There are various possible medications for a nerve inflammation in the arm. Mostly, drugs from the group of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are used.
These include, for example, ibuprofen, indomethacin or diclofenac, which can be taken as a tablet in the event of an acute pain attack. They usually relieve pain effectively after a relatively short time, as they reduce the inflammatory reaction.

More information on the topic NSAIDs you'll find here.

vitamin B

Vitamin B, especially vitamin B12, is one of the most important essential vitamins for the normal functioning of nerves. In this context, essential means that vitamin B must mainly be taken in through food. Accordingly, a deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to nerve damage or existing nerve damage or inflammation can be intensified.

A balanced diet is therefore always recommended.

You can read more about this here

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency


There are several homeopathic remedies that can help with inflammation of the nerve or nerves in the arm. These include, for example, Magensium carbonicum or Zincum metallicum, but also Naja tripudians or Verbascum. Other possible homeopathic remedies are phosphorus, belladonna or spigelia.

Warmth or cold - which is better?

If you have nerve inflammation in your arm, changing the surrounding temperature can be very helpful. It varies from person to person whether warm or cold helps better.

In general, local heat leads to a relaxation of the nerves and especially the surrounding muscles. Cold, in turn, reduces the transmission of nerve signals, and thus also local pain signals. Therefore, depending on the severity of the pain, heat or cold should always be applied individually. In addition, this should only happen over a fixed period of time in order to prevent overheating or hypothermia.

Which home remedies can help?

In addition to drug treatment, there are also some home remedies that can relieve the pain of a nerve inflammation in the arm.

The most important thing here is a balanced diet. This includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Some people have noticed an improvement in pain from drinking nettle or ginger tea regularly. Nuts such as walnuts or almonds also seem to have a positive effect.

The duration

The duration of a nerve inflammation in the arm depends to a large extent on the underlying cause and how severe the inflammation is.

In the case of an infection, the nerve inflammation can completely disappear after appropriate therapy and accordingly last no longer than a few days or weeks. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult a doctor if the pain persists.


The prognosis of nerve inflammation in the arm depends on the cause and severity of the disease.

Sometimes it is a long-lasting inflammation that is diagnosed late. In this case it is particularly important to initiate therapy quickly. Often the inflammation can be treated well with painkillers and a relatively symptom-free life can be led.