According to WebMD, chronic arm pain can indicate a variety of conditions that include overuse injuries, lupus and osteoarthritis. Overuse injuries such as bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis occur when repetitive activities cause stress on the joints. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues, leading to chronic pain. Osteoarthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints, and symptoms include pain and inflammation.
According to MedlinePlus, severe arm pain is a common symptom of cervical spondylosis, a chronic condition that is caused by constant wear on the cervical spine. Symptoms include growths on the bones of the spine, pain over the shoulder blade that spreads to the upper and lower arms, neck stiffness and headaches. Treatment options include physical therapy, stretching, hot and cold therapy, neck traction and massage.
Mayo Clinic explains that arm pain is a symptom of several conditions that include compressed nerves, neck problems, spine problems or joint injuries. Depending on the specific cause, arm pain can come on suddenly or slowly develop over time. It is important for individuals with sudden arm pain that radiates down the left arm to seek immediate medical attention, as this is can indicate a pending heart attack.