Pain in the right upper arm


What chronic pain in the upper arm for the person concerned can be estimated if one considers the importance of free mobility of the upper extremity in everyday life. The independent dressing, doing everyday household chores, hair and body care as well as numerous forms of social interaction up to the practice of sports are made much more difficult when pain in the shoulder and upper arm make every movement, however banal, a challenge.

Among the upper extremity pain, the upper arm is likely to be the most commonly affected region. Since approx. 85-90% of the European population are right-handed, stress-related pain on the right side of the body occurs particularly frequently and often hampers those affected considerably. Even if the therapy is protracted in many cases and those affected are often prone to relapses, pain in the upper arm is usually well known and easy to treat.

We start with diseases of the joints. The two joints of the upper arm, the shoulder joint, a ball joint, and the elbow joint, which has the properties of a hinge and ball joint, can be the origin of various diseases that cause pain radiating into the upper arm.


As the most flexible joint in the human body, the shoulder joint offers a wide range of motion. It enables many everyday processes. Illnesses in this important part of the body can quickly lead to major problems in coping with everyday life. Although the shoulder is relatively stable, repeated minor injuries and overuse can lead to wear and tear on the joint structures. Especially overhead work, as it is carried out in some skilled trades, or sports with frequent overhead movements, such as handball or volleyball, stress the shoulder joint and can later lead to wear and tear and upper arm pain that emanates from the shoulder joint.

  • In the calcareous shoulder, stress-related local remodeling processes on the shoulder tendon lead over time to calcium deposits, which cause inflammation-related pain and sometimes severely limit the mobility of the upper arm in the shoulder joint.
  • If overhead movements are hardly possible or only possible with severe pain, a so-called impingement syndrome may be present. The characteristic shoulder pain that occurs when the arm is spread apart between 70 ° and 130 ° is caused by degeneration or entrapment of components of the joint capsule or the tendon apparatus.
    Impingement syndrome can also painfully restrict mobility in the elbow area.
  • Osteoarthritis is another very widespread joint disease that can be traced back to stress on the joint structures. Years of stress wear the joint sliding surfaces and painful restriction of movement of the affected joint. Characteristic is the so-called starting pain, which is stronger in the morning and at the beginning of the movement and improves as the joint warms up. Although osteoarthritis occurs less frequently in the shoulder and elbow joint than in the knee joint, for example, it can be more often responsible for pain in the upper arm with advancing age.
  • The joint inflammation that is to be distinguished from osteoarthritis in the context of rheumatoid arthritis can affect every joint in the body regardless of continuous stress. In the shoulder and elbow joint, it causes painful swelling, associated with reddening and overheating, and reduces the range of motion of the affected joint. In the case of chronic pain in the upper arm that emanates from the joints, a disease from the rheumatic group should also be considered.
  • Golfers and tennis elbows are exercise-related conditions that can occasionally cause pain radiating from the elbow to the upper or lower arm. In right-handed people, they occur on the right arm, i.e. the stronger arm that is preferred for work or sport. It is assumed that an overload of the forearm muscles, as occurs, for example, in the incorrect exercise of punch sports (tennis, golf) or when using computers or carving tools, is responsible for the development of the diseases.

Read more about Sports injuries

  • The muscles of the upper arm can also cause pain of various kinds. Most often these are on one aching traced back. This pain, caused by short-term, heavy use of the muscles concerned, should be well known and easily diagnosed.
  • The so-called is much more uncomfortable for those affected Biceps tendon rupture. This is understood to mean the tear in one of the tendons of the two biceps heads below their insertion near the shoulder joint or the tear in the tendon common to both biceps heads near the elbow joint. A biceps tendon can tear if they like in some (strength) sports, is exposed to unusually heavy loads or if years of wear and tear have weakened its structure. The main symptoms are sudden pain in the upper arm, a whip-cracking sound and a palpable dent in the course of the torn tendon. The outwardly displaced muscle belly of the biceps is also clearly visible.
  • Blood clots can cause pain in the vascular system. Metabolic diseases years of nicotine abuse, immobilization or medication blood clots can form in the blood vessels, called these Thrombosis close or be torn off from the vessel wall and washed into more distant vessels as a so-called embolus. The occlusion of an artery in the upper arm manifests itself in sudden, severe pain, paleness of the affected extremity, numbness and restricted mobility. If a deep upper arm vein is affected, the pain increases slowly over time, and the extremity is reddened and overheated. In both cases must consulted a doctor immediately become.
  • The bone of the upper arm is used in medical terminology Humerus called. It is extremely stable, but can break when exposed to great force. If a minor injury leads to severe pain in the upper arm, this is especially true in older people Bone loss, the so-called osteoporosis to think. In younger people, the bone structure should be intact. In the context of tumor diseases of the humerus, however, chronic pain and even spontaneous fractures can occur.

Pain in the outer area of ​​the right upper arm

When one speaks of pain in the outer upper arm, it is usually the area of ​​the Deltoid muscle, of Deltoid muscle, meant. This muscle, which is largely involved in the shape of the shoulder, lies over the shoulder joint and stabilizes it by pressing the head of the upper arm into its joint socket, the shoulder joint socket.

Step on the outside of the right upper arm exercise-related pain, especially in right-handed people who does more work with his right hand and thus also using his right arm. Among the typical movements in which the Deltoid muscle is used, count Splaying movements of the upper arm.With some exercises in the gym, in the handicraft when carrying buckets or sacks, but also in the office when working with the computer (with an unfavorable position at the desk), the deltoid muscle can be unusually stressed. Painful tension can be the result. Characteristic here are the already described pain over the outside of the upper arm and occasionally palpable hardening of the muscle itself. The deltoid muscle becomes apart from splaying movements also when Pressing the arm against the trunk utilized. At Immobilization of the upper arm with plaster casts or the like, this protective posture can often be assumed involuntarily and cause discomfort accordingly.

Pain on the inside of the right upper arm

Since adduction, i.e. the approaching of the upper arm, is essentially caused by the chest- and Back muscles (Pectoralis muscle and Latissimus dorsi muscle) and not through muscles on the inside of the upper arms, what happens is pain on the inside of the upper arm usually not due to muscular structures.

Of the Ulnar nerve (Elbow nerve) can cause pain there. It runs on the inside of the upper arm towards the elbow, where it merges on the inside into the forearm. By Force applied to the inside of the elbow or through constant pressure on this area, for example if the posture is unfavorable while sleeping, cycling or doing paperwork, the elbow nerve can be irritated and cause electrifying pain on the inside of the upper arm.

Pain at night

If pain occurs mainly at night, the cause is usually one unfavorable sleeping position. On the one hand, chronic degenerative diseases such as the one described in the introduction can occur here Impingement syndrome or arthrosis prevent finding a good sleeping position. Unfamiliar sleeping positions can lead to Compression of nerves, muscles and blood vessels in the upper arm and thus lead to nocturnal pain and even numbness of the upper extremities.

Although the causes of nocturnal upper arm pain are mostly harmless, it can in rare cases also a tumor disease behind the phenomenon. The so-called Osteoid osteoma, a benign tumor of the bone, often manifests itself by its characteristic nocturnal pain, which is good on aspirinTalk to ®. A doctor's assessment can help prevent the disease from progressing.