Arthritis and hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome are common causes of arms swelling. Lymphedema and overuse of the arm are also causes, states WebMD.
Arthritis, including osteoarthritis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness in the arms, states WebMD. When excessive stress is repetitively applied to the joint in the arm, it is known as an overuse injury. Common overuse injuries include bursitis, tendinitis and stress fractures, according to Cigna. Bursitis occurs when the sac of fluid that protects the joint between two bones swell and cause pain, while tendinitis occurs when the fibers linking the bones and muscles together swell. Stress fractures cause swelling due to cracks in the bones of the arms.
Lymphedema causes the arms to swell due to lymph fluid that has built up due to something blocking its flow. Lymphedema commonly only occurs when lymph have been temporarily or permanently blocked, therefore causing damage to the lymphatic system. This is known as secondary lymphedema, explains Drugs.com. When arm swelling caused by lymphedema occurs from an unrelated cause, it is known as primary lymphedema.
Treatment for arm swelling depends on the cause and severity, states Cigna. Depending on those factors, in addition to the accompanying symptoms, medical attention may be recommended.