How to Treat Biker’s Arm

POSTED BY Andrew Kass||

One common injury seen in motorcycle crashes is biker’s arm. Biker’s arm, sometimes called rider's arm, occurs on impact in a number of different scenarios in a motorcycle accident. It can result in partial or complete paralysis. It can occur when the weight of the motorcycle slams down on the arm. It can also occur as your body weight lands on your arm with great force.

Sometimes it happens with a biker draws in their arms to protect themselves from a fall, bearing the brunt of the landing on the arms. Other times it occurs as the motorcyclist's arms are trapped under their body in the initial impact. No matter how it occurs, biker's arm can be a debilitating, serious injury. Here’s what you should know about biker’s arm and how it is treated.


Biker’s arm, like whiplash, is often not noticed immediately following motorcycle accidents. You may experience pain or even numbness in your arm and assume that it’s simply from the impact of the crash and that it will subside. But often the numbness, pain, or lack of mobility worsens in the days and weeks following a motorcycle crash, and sometimes these injuries are permanent. That’s why it is important to seek medical attention right away after a crash, even if you don’t think you are severely injured. 

Symptoms of Biker’s Arm Include:

  • Good use of the arm and shoulder, but lack of control or no control of the fingers
  • Good use of the fingers, but a lack of feeling or control in the elbow, arm, or shoulder
  • Total arm paralysis or impaired arm movement
  • Can affect one or both arms
  • Other symptoms of biker's arm can include general feelings of numbness or tingling in the motorcyclists arms or shoulder region

Biker’s arm occurs when the nerves at that stem from the base of the neck are damaged. This nerve damage leads to pain, tingling, and numbness. Pain branches from the:

  • Ulnar Nerve - This is the nerve that extends to the rear of the elbow. It is utilized when during finger movement, especially during fine motor activities.
  • Median Nerve - This is the nerve that sends messages from the forearm to the base of your hand, and through the palm and thumb. 
  • Radial Nerve - This is the nerve that controls coordination between the triceps of the upper arm and the wrists, fingers, and hand. 

Damage to these nerves can be especially frustrating because, unlike a fracture or abrasion, healing can be slow. Nerve damage takes time to heal, and the pain and numbness can lead to frustration and difficulties performing day to day tasks. 

Treatment for Biker's Arm

Treatment for biker’s arm and other motorcycle injuries can involve physical therapy, surgery, massage, chiropractic treatment, and analgesics. Nerve damage is tricky to treat, and often the ultimate outcome cannot be predicted for some time. Some injuries will become less pronounced with time and with treatment. Unfortunately, for some people, paralysis or lack of control of the fingers or arm will remain even with treatment.

You may be prescribed pain medication to help manage discomfort, especially in the days or even weeks following your motorcycle accident.

In your initial assessment, your doctor may perform imaging tests. These tests, like x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, are performed to ascertain the extent of the injury. In some cases, surgery may be an option to help alleviate compression on the nerves and repair nerve damage. These tests and procedures can get expensive, and medical costs can quickly escalate. It’s important to document all of your medical care and treatment, as this can help you recover financial compensation for your injuries.

If you have biker’s arm or have been in a motorcycle accident and are experiencing numbness, paralysis, or lack of control in your fingers or arm, seek medical treatment right away. Your physician can prescribe a course of physical therapy and massage treatments that may lessen your symptoms. But even with appropriate therapy and treatment, biker’s arm presents long-term problems.

When you are in a motorcycle accident, you may not immediately notice your biker’s arm injury. You may feel a nagging ache in your arm or notice some tingling or numbness in your fingers. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential that you see a physician and receive proper medical attention.

A delay could indicate to the insurance company that your personal injury case is weak. The physician can help determine if you are injured. When you see the doctor, be sure to let him or her know of any pain or change in sensation you are experiencing.

Speak with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If your arm feels sore, your range of motion has decreased, or you are experiencing numbness or tingling, do not assume that these problems will go away on their own. Often, these initial symptoms become even more pronounced in the days and weeks to come. What may have seemed to be a minor injury at first can turn out to be a significant, life-altering injury.

Other common motorcycle accident injuries, like spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, facial injuries, broken bones, eye injuries, or road rash can contribute to your personal injury claim. If you have been in a serious motorcycle accident, your medical bills add up quickly. Do not suffer in silence! We urge all injured motorcycle riders to seek immediate medical treatment. Then speak to an experienced motorcycle injury attorney at the Law Firm of Kass & Moses. We pride ourselves in establishing a solid attorney client relationship and are available at any time to discuss your case.

If you experience biker’s arm, time is of the essence when it comes to treatment. Do not delay- see a physician right away. As soon as you have received medical treatment, it is important to consult with an attorney. Medical expenses quickly escalate, and biker’s arm injuries can present life-long disabilities. You need to have someone on your side to help you navigate the settlement process.

We can fight the insurance companies for you and work diligently to get you fair and just compensation for your injuries. Beyond any out of pocket costs, we strive to get compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, time away from work, and other losses.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Firm of Kass & Moses at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE for legal advice. You will receive a free case evaluation from the motorcycle accident attorneys who will work with you to help get you the compensation you deserve for your physical injuries. Proper legal representation can lead to fair compensation for your injuries.