What can cause arm pain particularly after sleep?

Q. What can cause arm pain particularly after sleep?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 04, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jun 28, 2023

Hi doctor,

I am a 23-year-old male, student. I have had severe pain in my right arm for the past 12 hours. There is no other accompanying symptom. I had encountered the same problem a couple of times in the past. The pain starts suddenly mostly after sleep. What to do?



Welcome to icliniq.com. This could be coming from the nerve being compressed or irritated in your neck, shoulder or arm pit. I would highly suggest changing the position in which you sleep. In order to help you better please tell me whether the pain starts from your shoulder or arm pit and moves down or just the arm. Do you feel any numbness or pins and needles? Do you have a history of fall, trauma or shoulder and neck injury? Did you experience the pain every day morning or after a nap? Do you feel any weakness in your right hand or arm? It could be cervical disc radiculopathy, saturday night palsy (radial nerve compression), or rotator cuff tear or sprain.

Hi doctor,

The pain is just in the arm and hand. It is more in the hand. There is no numbness. I do not have any history of serious injury. This pain comes at some odd day not after each nap or sleep. Yes, I have some weakness in my right hand.



Welcome back to icliniq.com. I think you are having carpal tunnel syndrome. Less likely to be coming from neck or shoulder injury. Are you an athlete or long time computer user? Even a small work that involves using your hands and wrists can make it worse. Do a nerve conduction study of the right arm and an x-ray of the cervical spine. Less likely, but cervical spondylitis is also a possibility. Use a wrist splint and wrist brace. Wear it for at least 8-10 hours a day. Take Cataflam (Diclofenac 50 mg) three times a day as needed for pain. It may take up to four to eight weeks for you to get some improvement.

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