UC Irvine Pain Medicine Center

Shoulder, Arm and Hand Pain

Dr. Stokes and Dr. DeSilva examine a patient's shoulders.

Are you suffering from pain in your shoulders and arms? Do you frequently have pain in your hands when gripping small objects or holding cups and glasses? If so, our pain management center might be able to provide a multidisciplinary approach to your pain condition.

Pain in the shoulders can be due to multiple dysfunctions including rotator cuff abnormalities and inflammatory pain. Arm and hand pain might be due to muscle spasm and joint arthritis. Our pain experts understand your painful condition and will be able to offer treatment recommendations.

Common Causes of Pain in the Shoulders, Arms and Hands

Rotator Cuff Dysfunction

The rotator cuff is composed of multiple muscles and tendons that support the shoulder. When the rotator cuff is injured it may lead to debilitating pain. The supraspinatus muscle is one of the most important muscles in this group because it provides stability to the entire joint. However, it is prone to cause severe pain due to wear-and-tear from daily activities. The other muscles, which compose the rotator cuff, are also capable of generating pain and might require interventional treatments. This can be guided by our pain experts, who understand pain issues associated with rotator cuff dysfunction.

Brachial Plexopathy

This syndrome describes pain and weakness associated with compression of the brachial plexus, which is a large grouping of nerves extending from the neck into the arms. Common causes include compression of the brachial plexus by the muscles, bone, trauma, tumor, or inflammation. Movement of the neck and shoulder can worsen the pain symptoms. Our pain specialists can offer a multidisciplinary approach to treatment of this condition.

Tennis Elbow

This syndrome is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It is caused by daily wear-and-tear of the tendons in the forearm. These small tears can cause large amounts of pain and limit functional activity. The pain experts at our center specialize in the treatment of this condition.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is the most common nerve entrapment syndrome encountered in clinical practice. It is described as compression of the median nerve as it passes along the wrist. The symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers. Our pain specialists understand this condition and can provide a multidisciplinary treatment approach to this condition.