Swelling of Arm

Arms | General Practice | Swelling of Arm (Symptom)


Swelling is simply defined as the enlargement of an effected body part, generally arm or leg as a result of fluid retention. It may also affect the skin, organs, hand, fingers, foot and even toes. The fluid collects because the body is not able to eliminate the excess liquids.

Swelling can occur as a result of gravity, especially from sitting or standing in one place for too long. Water naturally gets pulled down into your legs and feet. It can happen from a weakening in the valves of the veins in the legs. This problem makes it hard for the veins to push blood back up to the heart, and leads to varicose veins and a build up of fluid in the legs.

Certain diseases — such as congestive heart failure, deep venous thrombosis (thrombophlebitis) and lung, liver, kidney, and thyroid diseases — can cause edema or make it worse. Being pregnant can cause edema in the legs also.


Other causes may include: arm fracture (bone), Rheumatoid arthritis, Allergic reaction, insect bites, lymphedenopathy, aneurysm, medications, Raynauds Disease, Slceroderma, Vasculitis, Systemic lupus erythematosus.

Temporary swelling may be caused by an infection, burn or sunburn, insect bites, an injury to the leg such as a sprain, surgery, or even medications such a hormone drugs, steroids, blood pressure drugs, or may be an allergic reaction in which is it referred to as angioedema. This may also be a part of the inflammatory response your body goes through it trying to protect and heal the leg or arm from the cause of the trauma.

Long term swelling is referred to as edema. This is usually related to specific medical conditions. These conditions may include diabetes, congestive heart failure, blood clot, varicose veins, kidney failure, liver failure or a number of cardio-vascular problems.