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Learn about your tricep pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your tricep pain 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.

Tricep Pain Checker

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Your Tricep Pain May Also be Known as:
Aches and pains in tricep
He hurt his tricep
Hurt her tricep
Hurt his tricep
Hurt my tricep
I hurt my tricep
Painful tricep
She hurt her tricep
Sore tricep
Tricep ache

Top 10 Tricep Pain Causes

  1. 1.Brachial Plexopathy

    The brachial plexus is a complex nerve network located in the upper chest deep to the collar bone, which supplies the shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand. Damage to the brachial plexus is usually due to mechanical injury or trauma, and can interfere with normal nerve function causing numbness, pain, and/or weakness.

    You should visit your primary care physician to discuss these symptoms. It is likely the doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, and in many cases refer you to a specialist, physical therapist, or both. A professional evaluation is very important, as surgical treatment might be required for a brachial plexus nerve injury.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one arm, shoulder pain that shoots to the arm, arm weakness, numbness in one arm, shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

    Impingement syndrome is a common shoulder condition seen in aging adults. The tendons of rotator cuff muscles, whose action is to rotate the arm such such as during a tennis swing, pass in a narrow space between two bones in the shoulder. When the space becomes too narrow, which can happen as a result of an overuse injury, pain may develop as the tendons rub against the bones.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Treatments for impingement syndrome involve rest, over-the-counter pain medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, and surgery in rare, serious cases.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder, shoulder pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with rotator cuff tendonitis:
    pain in one shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Pinched Nerve in the Neck

    With age, disks separating the cervical vertebrae (which are the bones of your spine in your neck) lose height as well as lose water content, becoming stiffer. The vertebrae move closer together, and nerves that exit between these bones may be pinched, causing pain to travel down the nerve as it passes through the arm. The pain is usually sharp, and some people report a "pins and needles" sensation or even complete numbness.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate your care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Cervical radiculopathy is treated with pain medication, soft neck collars, and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, pain that radiates down arm, pain in the back of the neck, severe shoulder pain
    Symptoms that always occur with pinched nerve in the neck:
    pain that radiates down arm
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor will diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. If symptoms do not improve with these less invasive treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, pain in one hand, weakness in one hand
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Neuralgic Amyotrophy

    Hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy is a disorder characterized by episodes of severe pain and muscle wasting (amyotrophy) in one or both shoulders and arms. Neuralgic pain is felt along the path of one or more nerves and often has no obvious physical cause. The network of nerves involved in hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy, called the brachial plexus, controls movement and sensation in the shoulders and arms.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will likely coordinate care with a nerve specialist (neurologist). Treatment for this condition involves pain management with medication, as well as physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    arm weakness, pain in the back of the neck, general numbness, severe shoulder pain, difficulty moving the shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Tricep Pain Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having tricep pain.

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  6. 6.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Shoulder ("Swimmer's Shoulder")

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

    You do not need treatment, just rest from your overuse. Wearing a brace and physical therapy might be helpful.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    shoulder pain from overuse, shoulder weakness, shoulder numbness
    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder ("swimmer's shoulder"):
    shoulder pain from overuse
    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder ("swimmer's shoulder"):
    severe shoulder pain, shoulder injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Gad)

    Anxiety is a common emotion from time to time; however, persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worrying are signs of generalized anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a person worries more days than not for at least six months and has symptoms like fatigue, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

    You should visit your primary care physician to further discuss your symptoms. It is likely you will be referred to a mental health professional. Your doctor will likely recommend talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, trouble sleeping, irritability, nausea, general anxiety (stress)
    Symptoms that always occur with generalized anxiety disorder (gad):
    general anxiety (stress)
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Neck Sprain

    The neck is made up of 7 bones held together by muscles and ligaments. Any stretch of these muscles or ligaments causes a sprain, which will cause pain and affect your ability to move the neck.

    You can treat a neck sprain like most sprains - rest (a neck collar if necessary), ice (for 10-20 minutes at a time), pain relievers (like ibuprofen), and gentle massage.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, shoulder pain, pain in the back of the neck, difficulty moving the neck, neck pain
    Symptoms that always occur with neck sprain:
    pain in the back of the neck
    Symptoms that never occur with neck sprain:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  9. 9.Burner or Stinger Injury

    Burners and stingers are a common type of injury in contact or collision sports. This condition happens when the nerve supply of the upper arm is injured either at the shoulder or neck. The name comes from the stinging or burning pain that is felt spreading from the shoulder to the hand along the course of the affected nerve.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Treatment involves first stopping all contact activities where further injury is possible. Then, your doctor may recommend a special neck roll or elevated shoulder pads.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one arm, pain in one shoulder, neck pain on one side, shoulder pain that shoots to the arm, arm weakness
    Symptoms that always occur with burner or stinger injury:
    sports injury, constant neck pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Upper Arm

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

    You do not need treatment, just rest from your overuse. Wearing a brace and physical therapy might be helpful.

    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

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Tricep Pain

  • Q.Is your upper arm pain constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How long has your upper arm pain been going on?
  • Q.Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall or car accident)?
  • Q.How long has your shoulder pain been going on?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our tricep pain symptom checker.

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Tricep Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced tricep pain have also experienced:

    • 25% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 8% Pain in One Shoulder Blade
    • 8% Shoulder Pain
  • People who have experienced tricep pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 40% Over a Month
    • 21% Less Than a Week
    • 17% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced tricep pain were most often matched with:

    • 49% Brachial Plexopathy
    • 18% Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
    • 10% Pinched Nerve in the Neck

Tricep Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having tricep pain.

Take a quiz