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Shoulder, Arm and Hand Pain

Pain in the shoulders, arms or hands can negatively impact your quality of life and affect your ability to perform simple daily tasks.

Shoulder pain can have multiple causes, including rotator cuff abnormalities and inflammation. Arm and hand pain could be from muscle spasms or arthritis.

Some of the most common causes of shoulder, arm and hand pain include:

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common nerve compression syndrome.

It is described as a squeezing of the median nerve as it passes along the wrist.

The symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and fingers.

Brachial plexopathy

Brachial plexopathy syndrome describes pain and weakness associated with compression of the brachial plexus, which is a large group of nerves extending from the neck into the arms.

Common causes include compression of the brachial plexus by muscles, bone, trauma, tumor or inflammation. Movement of the neck and shoulder can worsen the pain.

Rotator cuff dysfunction

The rotator cuff is composed of multiple muscles and tendons that support the shoulder.

When these muscles are injured, it may lead to debilitating pain. The supraspinatus muscle is one of the most important muscles in this group because it provides stability to the entire joint.

The wear and tear from daily life can also lead to pain in the rotator cuff.

Tennis elbow

This syndrome is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It is caused by daily wear-and-tear of the tendons in the forearm. These small tears can cause a great deal of pain and limit your daily and recreational activities.

To be seen by one of our specialists, call 949-UCI-PAIN (949-824-7246) or request an appointment online ›

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To reach a doctor or nurse during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), call 949-824-7246 and leave a message. Your call will be returned within 12 business hours.

After business hours or on weekends: call the main hospital at 714-456-7890 and ask the hospital operator to contact the doctor on call by paging 3386.