There are a wide of array of diseases that can produce symptoms in the
upper extremity. These symptoms can be manifestations of disease within
the upper extremity or may represent symptoms referred from adjacent organs,
such as the heart, neck or breast.
Pain radiating into the arm can occur from heart attacks or pulmonary
emboli. Herniated discs occurring in the neck or arthritis
of the neck can also lead to pain radiating into the upper extremity.
Whereas, heart or lung disease may be accompanied by chest pain or shortness
of breath, nerve compression is likely to be associated with neck pain
and weakness, numbness or tingling within the upper extremity.
Localized pain and swelling of the joints occurs from a variety of diseases.
These include arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gonorrhea
and systemic lupus erythematous, to name a few. Gout and pseudogout
can lead to painful, swollen joints.
Weakness or loss of coordination of the arm may be associated with tumors
involving the brain or multiple sclerosis.
Limitations of shoulder function occurs with tears of the rotator
cuff and rotator cuff tendonitis.
Osteoporosis can lead to spontaneous fractures of the arm as can
Excessive sweating can be the product of an overactive sympathetic
nervous system. Surgical treatments can alleviate these symptoms.