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Right arm pain may be caused by several different conditions, and most of the conditions are not serious. Muscle strains or sore muscles are perhaps the most common causes of this pain, though a more serious muscle rupture may also cause pain anywhere in the right arm. Unlike pain in the left arm, this pain is not generally considered a sign of a heart attack, though pain resulting from a heart attack may radiate through the right arm, chest, back, shoulders, and neck in addition to the left arm. Other causes of pain in the right arm include tendinitis, ligament sprains, bone fractures, and nerve pain.
When a nerve becomes compressed or otherwise damaged, it can send pain throughout the area that it services. If that particular nerve happens to service the right arm, it is likely that some kind of right arm pain will result. Nerve pain may come in the form of sharp pain, shooting pain, numbness, tingling, or constant aches. To treat such pain, one must first discover what is causing the compressed or damaged nerve. Injuries commonly cause such nerve pain, and it may originate in an area other than the right arm. A herniated disc in the spine, for example, can compress nerves that service the arms and shoulders. It may be wise to visit a doctor to find the cause of such nerve pain.
Muscle strains occur when the tiny fibers that make up the muscle begin to tear. This tearing usually results in mild to moderate pain in most cases. Biceps commonly become torn due to overuse or bearing more weight than the muscle can safely handle. Right arm pain can result when any of the muscles in the right arm strain; the treatment usually involves rest, icing, compression, and elevation, or the RICE treatment. This helps keep swelling down and alleviates pain. If the muscle fibers tear completely from themselves or from a tendon, a muscle rupture has occurred. Surgery is often necessary to remedy this situation, and the recovery time is much longer.
Tendinitis can occur in the right arm as well. This happens when the tendons that connect muscles to bones become inflamed for any reason, leading to irritation and swelling. A more serious cause of arm pain can be a bone fracture. These often occur as a result of a direct trauma that places so much strain on the arm that the muscles and bones cannot handle the load. The bone will therefore develop a crack, and the severity of the crack will dictate the treatment.