Read below about pain in one bicep, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in one bicep from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Pain in One Bicep

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced pain in one bicep. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Brachial Plexopathy (Shoulder Nerve Issue)

    The brachial plexus is a complex nerve network located in the upper chest and shoulder region. Nerves can be explained as 'electric wires' of the body, passing through signals from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that lies deep to the collar bone, which supplies the shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand. When this bundle of nerves is (partially) damaged, one speaks of a 'plexopathy'. Several causes of damage can be injury or forceful trauma, inflammation or infection. A commonly known cause is sports injury in contact sports like football and rugby. Symptoms can include pain, burning, numbness and weakness in the shoulder and arm on one side, sometimes shooting through the arm to the hand. An acute (sports) injury that causes this condition is often called 'burners' or 'stingers' because of the burning and stinging type of pain. When the cause is inflammation of the nerves, it is often called the Parsonage-Turner syndrome.

    The severity of this condition is highly variable, and dependent on the amount of damage caused to the nerves. Brachial plexus injury following surgery usually has a good prognosis. Recovery times range from 2 weeks to 2 years.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one arm, shoulder pain that shoots to the arm, arm weakness, numbness in one arm, shoulder pain
    Symptoms that never occur with brachial plexopathy (shoulder nerve issue):
    pain in the front middle part of the neck
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Upper Arm

    Repetitive strain injury of the upper arm is caused by consistent repetitive use.

    Resolves with rest

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    upper arm pain from overuse, upper arm weakness, upper arm numbness
    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the upper arm:
    upper arm pain from overuse
    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the upper arm:
    upper arm injury, severe upper arm pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Pain in One Bicep Checker

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  3. 3.Upper Arm Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the upper arm is a bacterial or fungal infection of the bone, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, constant upper arm pain, spontaneous upper arm pain, warm red upper arm swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with upper arm bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    constant upper arm pain, spontaneous upper arm pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  4. 4.Bicep Bruise

    A bruise is the damage of the blood vessels that return blood to the heart (the capillaries and veins), which causes pooling of the blood. This explains the blue/purple color of most bruises. Bruises of the bicep are common due to minor injuries.

    Bruises tend to begin healing within one week.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant upper arm pain, recent bicep injury, pain in one bicep, swelling of one arm, upper arm bruise
    Symptoms that always occur with bicep bruise:
    recent bicep injury, constant upper arm pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in One Bicep

  • Q.Did you recently experience an injury to the upper arm area?
  • Q.Do you have any idea what may have caused your upper arm pain?
  • Q.Does your pain continue into the night?
  • Q.Have any of your muscles gotten much smaller (wasted away)?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pain in one bicep symptom checker to find out more.

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Pain in One Bicep Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in one bicep have also experienced:

    • 32% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 4% Pain in One Shoulder Blade
    • 4% Pain in One Arm
  • People who have experienced pain in one bicep had symptoms persist for:

    • 37% Over a Month
    • 22% Less Than a Week
    • 20% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced pain in one bicep were most often matched with:

    • 60% Upper Arm Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)
    • 30% Brachial Plexopathy (Shoulder Nerve Issue)
    • 10% Repetitive Strain Injury of the Upper Arm
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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