The upper arm itself has strong muscles, which protects it quite well. Therefore upper arm pain is typically caused by muscle injury. This includes pain referred to the upper arm from one of the numerous muscles holding the shoulder in place. Additionally pain can be referred down the arm from a pinch nerve, which may be associated with neck problems.
The elbow on the other hand is very vulnerable. Anytime there is weakness or contracture of the forearm muscles and tendons are stressed, the possibility of developing tendonitis, bursitis or even arthritis is greatly increased. Most people who develop tennis elbow have not been playing tennis. Any activity involving repeated hand, wrist or forearm movements can be to blame. Gardening, throwing, golfing, plumbing or even using a scissors can lead to a stressing of the muscles and connective tissue of the forearm and elbow.
The tendinomuscular problems often associated with arm, shoulder and elbow pain can be efficiently relieved with acupuncture. Additionally acupuncture has the ability to heal connective tissue problems commonly seen with elbow injuries. Acupunctures unique ability to release endorphins and promote muscular relaxation also relieves cervical, shoulder and forearm trigger points commonly associated with arm pain.
Acupuncture can stop the frustrating cycle of muscle spasms, pain and eventually loss of function by increasing circulation to the muscles and prompting the body to heal itself. Even in chronic conditions acupuncture can mobilize the body intrinsic healing abilities.
The diagrams below illustrate how muscular reaction patterns can lead to different types of arm pain, depending on the referral pattern of the affected musculature. Acupuncture points (trigger points) are marked “X” and are some of the most effective points to treat the associated referral pain patterns.