The causes of arm pain can sometimes be very obvious or somewhat elusive depending on the reason for the pain. Obvious causes could be a recent injury, such as playing sports or lifting something too heavy. The symptoms may occur suddenly or gradual over a period of time. The pain may be severe and sharp or dull and vague. All descriptions of the pain are important and useful to the doctor when trying to accurately diagnose your condition.
There are also other less obvious causes where it is important to know exactly where the pain is felt, what time of day the pain occurs, what makes the pain better or worse or if there are other more serious symptoms associated with the arm pain such as fever, night sweats, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, numbness or tingling.