Arm Burning Sensation


Healthgrades Editorial Staff

What is arm burning sensation?

Arm burning sensation may be a sensation of tingling (feeling of “pins and needles”) or burning in the arm that is medically known as paresthesia. It can result from an arm injury or pressure on a nerve in the arm. Other causes include damage to nerves in the arm from exposure to extreme heat or cold or to toxic compounds. Arm burning sensation can also be a feature of certain diseases or conditions, including multiple sclerosis and lupus.

Alternatively, arm burning sensation may be caused by peripheral neuropathy, a disorder in which the nerves that relay signals between the body and the brain and spinal cord do not function properly. Peripheral neuropathy can be due to a number of specific diseases and disorders, including diabetes and Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune nerve disorder. Alcohol abuse and vitamin deficiencies are further common causes of peripheral neuropathy and arm burning sensation.

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Arm burning sensation may also be a symptom of myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart muscle) or heart attack. Arm burning sensation, particularly when localized to one side of the body and with sudden onset, can also be a symptom of stroke.

The duration and course of arm burning sensation vary widely, depending on the cause. Symptoms caused by injury often have a sudden onset. In other cases, arm burning sensation caused by underlying neuropathy develops slowly and persists or worsens over time.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if a sudden arm burning sensation is accompanied by numbness or weakness of the arm or fingers on one side of yourbody; a change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness; chest pain or pressure; difficulty breathing; or the worst headache of your life, as these can be signs of stroke.

If your arm burning sensation is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Oct 27, 2016

© 2018 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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Medical References

  1. NINDS Paresthesia Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
  2. Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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