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The Anxious Mind and Body: Arm Pain Explained

Denise Griswold, MSc, LCAS
The Anxious Mind and Body: Arm Pain Explained

Pain is almost always distressing. It doesn't matter if you know the cause of the pain or whether or not the pain represents something dangerous—pain can be distracting, upsetting, and make it hard to enjoy the things going on in your life.

When the cause of that pain is a mystery, it can become even more concerning. Those that struggle with arm pain often feel that their pain may be a sign of something more serious, and wonder if their pain is something that will ever stop.

Your Pain May Have a Meaning

Many people hope for a quick way to determine the cause of arm pain including ruling out anxiety as a cause. Unfortunately, there is no way to know—your doctor can rule out any other causes of recurrent arm pain and help you recognize if anxiety is the likely culprit.

Note that arm pain is unlikely to be the only sign of anxiety. It's often a part of a web of symptoms occurring intermittently and/or simultaneously with the pain. 

Causes of Arm Pain From Anxiety

The causes of arm pain may vary, and different anxiety symptoms may cause different levels of arm pain. The most common causes of arm pain include:

Anxiety Arm Pain Treatment

For those whose arm pain is caused by anxiety, there's no need to be too concerned. Anxiety cannot cause any long-term damage to your arm, and once you learn to control your anxiety the arm pain will go away. Three ways to reduce your arm pain include:

These are only temporary fixes, but they'll reduce some of the severity of the arm pain and make living with arm discomfort easier. You'll also need to find a way to manage and cope with your anxiety.

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