ZocdocAnswersIs it possible that the pain I feel in my arm is all in my head?

Question

Is it possible that the pain I feel in my arm is all in my head?

Had this strange, constant ache in my arm for two years now. Doctors can?t seem to find anything wrong with me. Is it all in my head? Can you imagine that you have pain even if nothing is physically wrong with you?

Answer

Arm pain can have many different causes. Some of which are easy to diagnose, others of which are more obscure and difficult to diagnose. I would recommend that you address this specifically with your doctor. Please see your doctor for this issue To answer your question -- YES -- arm pain can be caused by "mind issues." Known as a somatic disorder or a somatiform manifestation, this can be a very real condition, or actually a group of conditions. These are often a physical manifestation of a psychiatric problem. For example, many people experience a "conversion disorder" when a specific stress (like death in the family) causes a sudden physical problem (like blindness). That being said, these conditions often resolve after the initial stress is managed. There are many other causes of arm pain that should be evaluated. Common problems (outside the obvious damage to the muscles, nerves, ligaments or bones in the arm) include cervical (neck) problems. Often a nerve can get pinched in the neck as it leaves the spinal cord and enters the arm and this causes arm pain. Rarely, a stroke in the brain can cause arm pain. Talk to your doctor. Is there a specific reason you are worried about "mind" problems? Do you feel depressed? Your doctor can help with these issues. Good luck!

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