Upper Extremity Pain

Pain Management Doctor Serving Castro Valley, Hayward, Oakland, San Leandro, Dublin, Pleasanton

Upper Extremity Pain

Upper extremity pain in the arms and their joints can prove highly disabling. If painful arms or hands limit you, visit Ravi Panjabi, MD, at Advanced Pain Management in Castro Valley, California. Dr. Panjabi and his team determine what’s causing your condition and use cutting-edge treatments to reduce it. Call Advanced Pain Management to discuss your upper extremity pain or book an evaluation online today.

What are the upper extremities?

The upper extremities include everything from your shoulders to your fingers, including the hands, wrists, and elbows. The lower extremities are everything from your hips down, including knees, ankles, and feet.

Upper extremity pain is a common problem because the hands and arms are vital to most activities and are used throughout the day.

What causes upper extremity pain?

Some common causes of persistent upper extremity pain include:


Arthritis affects the joints. There are many types, all causing inflammation, stiffness, and weakness that worsen with time. Osteoarthritis from years of use (which wears away the articular cartilage protecting the bones) is especially common in the hands. Other forms of the disease have different causes — for example, rheumatoid arthritis develops when your immune system malfunctions.

Carpal tunnel syndrome 

The carpal tunnel is a ring of bones in your wrist connected by ligaments. The median nerve that serves the thumb side of your hand travels from your shoulder through the carpal tunnel. Thickened ligaments can press on the median nerve, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in the side of your hand.

Cubital tunnel syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome has similar causes to carpal tunnel syndrome, but it affects the ulnar nerve in your elbow, where it passes through the joint’s cubital tunnel. Symptoms affect the other side of your hand.

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affects the thumb’s base and outer wrist, particularly when gripping, pinching, or making a fist. It develops when the tendons at the base of your thumb and the sheath surrounding them become inflamed and thicken.  

Tennis and golfer’s elbow

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) affects the outer joint, while golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) affects the inner joint. Both are typically overuse injuries from making the same motions repeatedly. This irritates the tendons attaching your forearm muscles to your bones.

How is upper extremity pain treated?

The treatment your upper extremity pain requires depends on its cause and severity. Options Advanced Pain Management offers include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Splints or braces
  • Steroid injections
  • Trigger point injections
  • Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Exosomes and other healing cells

BMAC, PRP, and other healing injections use cells taken from your body or harvested from healthy donors. These treatments may stimulate natural healing.

Call Advanced Pain Management to receive expert upper extremity pain treatment. You can also book an appointment online today.