Seven Common Arm Injuries and How to Avoid Them

There are different circumstances that lead to arm injuries. These affect the soft parts of the arm such as the tendons and the muscles. Bone injuries are also common in the upper extremities. This is because they principally happen to young people and adolescents.
Seven Common Arm Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Last update: 31 March, 2019

The arms are part of the locomotive apparatus of the body. This is because they’re related to the shoulders. As they are in constant motion, their joint muscles and tendons are at risk of suffering damage. That’s why you should understand the most common arm injuries.

Soft tissue arm injuries

The soft tissue of the arms is composed of muscles, tendons, and the bursa. This bursa contains liquid. It functions as a shock absorber against friction between tendons and bones.

shoulder arm injuries

Bicep tendinitis

This is one of the most common arm injuries. It’s inflammation of the distal tendon–this joins the bicep in the upper arm to the elbow. This injury is caused when the tendon moves excessively and repetitively.

The ailment produces pain and rigidity. It also impedes the arm’s ability to make certain movements. In general, it can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, rehabilitation, and rest. In specific cases, the physician may recommend extensive X-ray tests.


Ligaments are made of very strong and flexible fibers that cover the joints and keep the bones in place. Sometimes, these elbow ligaments are torn or stretched due to certain events. Falling, twisting, or suffering a blow can cause the sprain.

The symptoms of sprains are inflammation, pain, functional impotence, and hematoma. The treatment depends on the medical diagnosis. It could be necessary to isolate the affected area, partially or completely, to use analgesics, or to use anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, you might need to have surgery.


Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa and this condition produces intense pain. It could be brought about by a blow, an infection, rheumatoid arthritis, or continuous pressure on the elbows. You can find some of the symptoms below.

  • Inflammation of the area behind the elbow.
  • Pain and sensitivity in the joint.
  • Difficulty moving.

Your physician will give you the treatment plan. It might include rest or medications such as analgesics, or anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, a doctor must drain the excess liquid.

Medial epicondylitis

Many people refer to this condition as “golfer’s elbow.” Inflammation and extreme degeneration of the muscular area of the tendons in the elbow joint produce this condition. Constant movement of the forearm, elbow, and hands may cause it. Golfer’s elbow commonly affects manual laborers and athletes.

If you suffer from this, you will feel intense pain on the inner side of the elbow. The pain will also extend up to the forearm, creating a feeling of painful pressure in the bone. Doctors generally treat it by recommending rehabilitation, anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, and sometimes an injection of medicine into the elbow.

Bone injuries

The bones in the upper extremities are also susceptible to damage. Accidents or diseases might cause some of this damage. They are some of the most common injuries in the arms.


This is a common injury in young people, adolescents, and adults. These are particularly common when people take falls or hits during sports play or accidents.

Dislocations of the arm result when the humerus disengages from the ulna or the radius, which produces strong pain. It can also deform or immobilize the joint. In severe cases, it affects nerves or arteries. If this is the case, the dislocation merits immediate medical attention.


The humerus, ulna, and radius are bones in the arm. A fracture occurs when one or more of these break. Generally, heavy blows or falls due to accidents – sports-related or otherwise – cause them. Osteoporosis may also aggravate fractures.

Fractures tend to cause: pain, loss of strength, inflammation, inability to move the joint, and burst blood vessels. In each case, your doctor will determine the right type of treatment for you.


Rheumatism is a disease in the joints that causes pain and deformity of the musculoskeletal system. It affects the upper extremities.

Experts believe that genetic factors are to blame for this disease. The principal symptoms that accompany it are:

  • Light or intense pain in certain cases.
  • Protuberance or nodules in the joints.
  • Deformities in the joints of the wrist or fingers.

You should keep up with the medical advice given to you. This means taking the oral medication, undergoing therapy, or having the injections and surgeries you need.

wrist arm injuries

Minor arm injuries

People often suffer with these as a result of daily wear and tear on the body. You might also experience them if you already have arm injuries and you keep using the arm. In general, minor injuries are caused by:

  • Manual labor.
  • Home improvement projects or tasks.
  • Sports and hobbies.

How to prevent arm injuries

You should pause what you’re doing once in a while and when you’re engaged in repetitive activities. Experts recommend that you take a 10-minute break for every 50 minutes of repetitive work that you do.

You should remember the most common arm injuries. It’s possible that you might just be able to avoid some of them and prevent irreversible damage.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.