Left Arm Pain: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment Left Arm Pain: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Left Arm Pain: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

 

There are many possible causes of left arm pain, and many people suffer from it. You should consult a healthcare professional if the pain does not disappear within a few days. The pain can be caused by various things, from poor posture to sports injuries.

What is Left Arm Pain?

Left arm pain occurs anywhere in the left arm from the shoulder to the fingertips. Pain can be sharp, shooting, dull, or aching. Pain in the left arm can also feel like numbness or tingling. A sudden or gradual onset of pain in your left arm is possible.

There is often nothing to worry about regarding slight pain in the left arm. A healthcare professional should be consulted if the pain is severe, lasts longer than a week, or is accompanied by other symptoms.

Causes

Many things can cause left arm pain, but some are more common. Left arm pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Injury

Injury is one of the top common causes of left arm pain. It could be a sports injury or a fall. The best thing you can do if you've injured your arm is to seek medical attention so that the damage can be assessed and the proper treatment can be given.

Circulation Problems

Pain can also be caused by poor circulation in the left arm. A blood clot or an infection could cause it, or it might be caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, or other factors that reduce circulation.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Nerve damage caused by peripheral neuropathy is known as peripheral neuropathy. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including left arm pain. Often, peripheral neuropathy is caused by diabetes, but other conditions, such as alcoholism or certain medications, can also cause it.

Angina

Coronary heart disease is characterised by angina. Your heart muscles aren't getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Symptoms of angina are similar to those of a heart attack, but they usually last less than a minute. Usually, it gets worse when you're active and better when you're resting.

Heart Attack

A blood clot or rupture can block the blood flow to part of your heart in a coronary artery. As a result, the muscle can be damaged quickly. Without treatment, the heart muscle starts to die, which could be fatal. Heart attack symptoms should be treated urgently if you or someone you know is experiencing them.

 

The following symptoms characterise heart attacks:

  • Pain or pressure in the chest

  • Back, neck, shoulder, or jaw pain

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Fainting or light-headedness

  • Sweating profusely

  • Tiredness

 

Cervical Stenosis

As the spinal canal narrows, cervical stenosis occurs. Left arm pain, numbness, or tingling may result. Physical therapy and medication are often used to treat cervical stenosis, often caused by arthritis or degeneration of the spine.

Bursitis

In a joint, the bursa is the fluid-filled sac that separates the moving parts from the bone. Bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed. Repetitive movements can cause shoulder bursitis.

 

Age increases the risk of bursitis. The pain usually increases as you move or lie on your arm or shoulder. Your shoulder may not be able to rotate fully. Burning and tingling are also common symptoms.

Pinched Nerve

An inflamed or compressed nerve is called a pinched nerve. Herniated disks can result from trauma or wear and tear. Herniated disks and pinched nerves have similar symptoms. Your arm may feel numb, tingly, or burning. Moving may also increase your pain.

Diagnosis

  • Even though arm and shoulder injuries may not be life-threatening, it is still essential to seek medical attention.

  • By treating tissues or bones early, further damage can be prevented.

  • Your healthcare provider will act immediately if arm pain is a symptom of a heart attack or arterial blockage.

  • An electrocardiogram (ECG), blood test, chest X-ray, and possibly a CT tomography angiography scan will be performed first.

  • A doctor may also use the procedure of cardiac catheterisation.

  • Injecting a dye into the arteries allows doctors to assess the extent of blockages.

  • Doctors may choose noninvasive treatment based on the results of this test.

  • A blood clot-breaking drug, for example, may be prescribed.

  • Surgical intervention is sometimes necessary. The symptoms should be evaluated as soon as possible in any case.

Treatment

Several treatments are available depending on the cause of your left arm pain.

Home Remedies

These are a few home remedies that can ease or relieve arm pain caused by overuse or strain:

  • Taking a break from the activity will allow your arm to heal.

  • Apply ice several times a day for 20 minutes to the affected area.

  • Reduce inflammation by using a compression bandage.

  • Slings can also be helpful in some cases. You can elevate your arm above heart level to reduce swelling.

  • Pain and inflammation can be treated using otc painkillers (ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

 

To prevent the recurrence of a heart attack or angina, people should make lifestyle changes.

 

The following might be included:

  • Smoking cessation

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Getting started with exercise

  • Consuming plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products

 

Medical Care

Your doctor may recommend more advanced treatment if home remedies don't work or if your arm pain results from a more severe injury:

  • If damaged tissues cause your arm pain, you may be a candidate for surgery to remove or repair them.

  • You can regain strength and range of motion through physical therapy in your shoulder and arm. As a result, you will be ready to return to your regular routine as quickly and safely as possible.

 

With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, it is usually possible to relieve symptoms and prevent long-term damage to the left arm.

Prevention

To prevent arm pain, you can take a few steps.

 

Some of these include:

  • The muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your arm and arms can be injured over time if your posture is poor.

  • Avoid repetitive movements: Repeating the same movement patterns can increase the risk of shoulder and upper arm overuse injuries. Get up frequently to stretch these muscles and take breaks when needed.

  • A few minutes before exercise or heavy lifting to warm your shoulders and arms will help prepare them for more significant stress, reducing the risk of strain.

When to See a Medical Provider

Seek medical attention immediately if you feel sudden, severe arm pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain. Seeking immediate medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms is essential.

Also, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have persistent arm pain that doesn't improve with home care or experience redness, swelling, drainage, or fever.

 

An infection may be present, and a medical professional should be consulted. The pain in the left arm can often be relieved with simple home remedies, but if the pain persists, a healthcare professional should be consulted.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why does left arm pain occur?

Many conditions can cause left arm pain, including heart attacks, angina, bursitis, tendonitis, and nerve damage.

 

Is my left arm pain related to my heart?

Seek medical help immediately if you experience sudden, severe arm pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain. If you experience these symptoms, you may suffer from a heart attack or angina, requiring immediate medical attention.

 

Is my arm pain severe?

To rule out more severe conditions, it's essential to see a healthcare professional if you have persistent arm pain that does not improve with at-home care or if you have any redness, swelling, drainage, or fever associated with your arm pain.

 

Is there pain in the left arm caused by a heart attack?

A heart attack is typically felt in the centre of the chest, but it can also radiate to the left arm, jaw, neck, or back. In men, left arm pain can spread from the shoulder to the left arm or up to the chin. Pain can be subtler in women. Right or left arms can be affected.

 

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