Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Pain

Upper Extremity Pain

Upper extremity pain in the shoulders and arms can be exhausting in addition to being painful. The act of reaching, typing, or carrying even the smallest object can be excruciating. Pain in the hands is just as debilitating and can affect even the most menial of tasks. For example, holding a glass, picking up a pen, or manipulating your computer’s mouse. These types of pains varied causes and may include rotator cuff or inflammatory conditions, muscle spasms, or arthritis. Carolinas Pain Center can evaluate your shoulder, arm, or hand pain and get you started on a course of treatment to eliminate this pain from your life.

Common Causes of Upper Extremity Pain

(Shoulders, Arms, and Hands)

Rotator Cuff Dysfunction

Firstly, each shoulder is supported by many muscles and tendons that comprise the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is responsible for keeping your upper arm bone in its socket. This area allows you to raise and twist your arm. When the rotator cuff is injured, debilitating pain can occur, with a significant decrease in the range of motion in the arm. Unfortunately, even common use of the shoulder can lead to wear-and-tear that results in predisposition to injury. Certainly, consultation with Carolinas Pain Center will start you on a course of treatment to manage pain from rotator cuff dysfunction and put you back in charge of a pain-free life.

Brachial Plexopathy

Secondly, at the brachial plexus, a large nerve bundle from the spinal cord branches into the individual arm nerves. Brachial plexopathy often results from direct injury to the nerve. This is caused by compression of the nerve by the muscles, bone, trauma or inflammation. The pain often worsens with movement of the neck and shoulder.

Tennis Elbow

Thirdly, tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the forearm muscles on the outside of the arm at the elbow. It often occurs from overuse of the muscles or from simply repeating a certain motion continually. Gripping something like a paintbrush, a knife, even the mouse on a computer, can lead to irritation of these tendons and can lead to small tears in the tendons. This can cause mild to severe pain. Carolinas Pain Center specializes in the treatment of tennis elbow.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Finally, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is perhaps the most common nerve entrapment syndrome experienced by patients. CTS occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm through the wrist into the hand, becomes compressed. That is to say, symptoms can include pain, tingling and numbness in the hand or fingers, and can lead to a weakness in the hand resulting in the inability to grip or pick up even lightweight objects. With acute compression, sharp pain can radiate from the hand or wrist into the arm. Carolinas Pain Center specialists can outline a course of treatment to remediate this pain and return you to a normal life.

In conclusion, upper extremity pain does not have to persist. Above all, Carolinas Pain Center has a group of pain specialists ready to help. Carolinas Pain Center has convenient locations in Huntersville and Charlotte, NC. Our unique approach to pain management is a specialty at Carolinas Pain Center.  As a result each patient receives an individualized, multidisciplinary approach to care and treatment plan.


2014 Jun 28; 6(6): 284–300. Published online 2014 Jun 28. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i6.284 
2020 Jan-Feb; 17: 203–207. Published online 2019 Aug 10. doi: 10.1016/j.jor.2019.08.005