The area of the upper extremities (arms) between the shoulder and elbow is defined as the upper arm. Its bone structure only includes the humerus, which is a large tubular bone at the upper end with the bone head in the socket of the shoulder blade and at the lower end forms the elbow joint together with the ulna and spoke. The relatively long humerus is surrounded by numerous muscle groups, with various muscles of the chest, back and shoulder muscles (especially the rotator cuffs) attached to its upper end. On the front of the upper arm are the so-called elbow flexors, the biceps (biceps brachii muscle), the brachialis muscle (upper arm muscle) and the coracobrachialis muscle (raven beak muscle). On the back are the extensor muscles (elbow extensor), the triceps brachii muscle (also called triceps) and the anconeus muscle (elbow muscle).
Larger blood vessels in the area of the upper arms are primarily the arm artery and the two vein strands of the vena basilica and the vena cephalica. In addition, there are numerous nerve pathways such as the radial nerve, the median nerve and the ulnar nerve and the connective tissue structures or fascia in which the nerves, blood vessels and muscles are embedded. Symptoms in the upper arm area are often due to impairments of the muscles, which often also affect the nerve tracts and blood vessels due to the relatively narrow structures. If, for example, there is a permanent increase in the muscle tone of individual muscle groups as a result of incorrect loading, this can pinch a nerve and cause pressure on the blood vessels to cause circulation disorders. In addition to upper arm pain, there are often sensations such as numbness or tingling, which can also occur in the supply area of the respective nerves and blood vessels.
Pain in the upper arm sometimes originates in the shoulder or neck area when muscles, nerve tracts or blood vessels that are connected to the upper arm are affected. In addition, the pain of a heart attack can radiate from the chest to the upper arm. If upper arm pain is accompanied by chest pain, stinging in the chest, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain or nausea and vomiting, an emergency doctor should be alerted as soon as possible. (fp)