Elbow and arm pain

Elbow and arm pain is not usually a sign of anything serious. If it does not go away after a few weeks, see a GP.

How you can ease elbow and arm pain yourself

To ease elbow and arm pain, try these things for a couple of days:

  • put a pack of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel on your arm – do this for 5 minutes, 3 times a day
  • take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • raise your arm if it's swollen

See a GP if:

  • elbow or arm pain does not go away after a few weeks

Get help from NHS 111 if your arm:

  • hurts when you exercise but the pain goes away when you rest
  • is swollen and you have a very high temperature or feel hot and shivery
  • is extremely painful and difficult to move
  • tingles or feels numb
  • has been injured and you heard a snapping noise or your arm has changed shape

These can be signs of a heart problem (angina), an infection or a broken arm.

You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.

Call 999 if:

  • arm pain has come on suddenly and your chest feels like it's being squeezed

This could be a sign of a heart attack.

Causes of elbow and arm pain

Apart from an injury, these things can cause arm and elbow pain.

Do not self-diagnose. See a GP if you're worried.

Causes of elbow and arm pain