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Arm pain

arm pain

Arm pain can have several causes. This type of pain can be the result of tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, RSI, bursitis or a muscle strain or tear. Pain in the upper arm can radiate to the shoulder and neck and vice versa.

With massage you can treat most pain complaints. They are listed separately below.

Tennis Arm

Tennis elbow is a common condition of the arm. The pain occurs on the outside of the elbow and sometimes radiates to the forearm, wrist and hand. Tennis elbow is and misleading name since a small percentage actually play tennis (only 5%).

Tennis elbow occurs when the muscles you use to stretch your fingers become overstretched. The muscles run from your hand all the way to the outside of your elbow, where they attach to the bone of the upper arm via tendons. In tennis elbow, the tendon tissue is overloaded.

Golfer’s Elbow

A less common condition is golfer’s elbow: you then have arm pain on the inside of the elbow and sometimes also at the wrist. The pain can radiate to the forearm or upper arm.

Golfer’s elbow occurs when the muscles you use to flex your fingers become overstretched. The pain becomes worse when burdened, such as lifting.

The condition is called golfer’s elbow, but that doesn’t mean it can only be caused by golfing. It is also regularly seen in tennis players, pitchers (baseball and softball) or sport climbers. It can also occur in daily life (e.g. tilers).


Good posture is as important

RSI can be recognized by pain in the shoulder, arm and/or hand. The body part becomes stiff and painful. If one ignores this pain and continues with the movement that causes RSI, inflammation of the tendons and muscles can occur. This type of arm pain can even become chronic.

It is therefore important to give the arm in question some rest and to look for ways of improving the work posture. You can read more about RSI on the RSI page.


Chronic overloading causes a lot of bursitis. Those who often have to work with their hands above their head (such as window washers, painters and carpenters), run an increased risk of bursitis in the shoulder. In fact, there is nothing wrong with working with your hands above your head, but if you do that day in and day out without sufficient rest, you are asking too much of your shoulder and arm.

If your bursa becomes inflamed, it will make extra fluids. This causes the bursa to swell, and the joint feels painful and stiff. You can also move the joint less well. Your skin can become red and feel warm at the place where the inflamed bursa is. Swelling may also occur in that area.

This inflammation is a very nasty form of pain that lasts for a year to sometimes up to 48 months. Massage and medical taping can help you if the pain is lessening.

Irritated nerves (nerve pain)

Tingling, radiating pain and movement limitations are common symptoms of irritated nerves. The pain is often most severe at night and can be made worse by touching the sensitive area or by changes in temperature.

By massaging the areas where the nerves run through and stretching the muscles, the nerves are given space and the symptoms quickly disappear.

carpal tunnel syndrome

carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is located on the inside of the wrist. This tunnel is a passageway for nerves and tendons that run from the forearm to the hand.

Sometimes the tunnel is too narrow and an important hand nerve gets pinched. The resulting symptoms in your hand are called carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • pain, tingling and/or a numb feeling in your thumb, fingers and palm of the hand
  • Sometimes you have symptoms in the whole hand and they radiate to the forearm.
  • At night, the pain can interfere with your sleep.

These complaints can be easily addressed with exercises and massage.


During your first appointment, we will discuss your symptoms and determine the location of the arm pain. With this information we make a plan of action. This plan depends on the complaint. RSI complaints require a different approach than for example a muscle strain.
Often people experience an enormous relief after only 1 or 2 treatments. It does not matter how long the complaint has been present.