As the person gets older, pain in the left arm is nothing unusual. But sometime, it could be the sign of something really serious like a heart attack. If a person is aware of the cause of the left arm pain, it can be determined easily whether to seek medical attention or not. There can be many causes like a problem in the neck or upper spine. Pain radiating into the left arm can also signify a heart attack. That’s why it is really important to know the cause and characteristic of the pain to avoid any serious situation later on.
Men and women experience left arm pain in different ways. Like, for example, in men the pain moves from shoulder to the arm. While in women, pain is subtle and involves, shoulder blades and upper back. From there on, it can reach the abdomen and give nausea feeling along with indigestion.
1) Symptoms & Possibilities:
Pain in the left arm can occur suddenly and could last for over three months. Sometimes it lasts for a very short time and this depends on the cause of the pain. Besides experiencing the arm pain, some symptoms might occur along with arm pain and these are:
- Symptoms that may occur with arm pain include:
- Back, neck or shoulder pain
- Burning feeling in the arm
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Cough, sore throat
- Feeling of numbness
- Skin discoloration
- Unexpected weight loss
2) Causes of Left Arm Pain:
There are different causes of left arm pain but the most well-known and common one is a heart attack. If it is the pain associated with a heart attack, the person experiences tightening feelings in the chest, back pain, neck pain, nausea, and shortness of breath. If the pain is due to angina, the pain lasts for only a few minutes.
Sometimes tense muscles due to fatigue also cause pain. Injury in the left arm is sure to cause pain without question. Sleeping in a bad posture that would cause blockage in blood circulation also causes pain. Sometimes infectious diseases and neurological conditions can also cause pain in the left arm.
Besides heart attack, other causes of left arm pain are not that much serious and the pain can be eradicated by some care and lifestyle changes. For instance, having proper rest periods while doing physical activity can reduce the chances of left arm pain.
3) Potential Complications:
There are many complications that the left arm pain brings along the extent of which depends on the cause of pain. If the pain is not that severe, rest is the most effective option to opt for. Over the counter, anti-inflammatory medications can also help in this regard. Neglecting the left arm pain can sometimes lead to serious complications if the underlying cause is a serious one.
If the pain is extreme and persists, it is more than necessary to contact the doctor. Following the treatment plan will lower the risk of developing the following complications:
- Arm disability
- Chronic pain
- Inability to perform daily living tasks
- Loss of strength
- Permanent nerve damage
- Spread of infection
4) Pain and Heart Attack?
Most of the times pain in the left arm is associated with a heart attack. That’s why a person might question as to whether the pain he is experiencing in the left is a signal of a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when an adequate amount of oxygen can’t reach the heart muscles due to bad blood circulation.
If the pain in the arm is linked with a heart attack, it gets worse with exertion and comes along with other symptoms such as tightening feeling in the chest, burning sensation, numbness, nausea, and shortness of breath. If any of these symptoms are experienced collectively, it becomes extremely necessary to seek medical care to prevent any serious circumstances.
5) Home Remedies:
If the pain is not due to a heart attack, it can be eradicated by applying some home remedies. For instance, if the pain is due to a broken arm, applying an ice pack can help relieve the pain for some time. But a doctor’s visit is necessary and better whatsoever the case may be. Other home remedies could be:
- Reducing the activities that cause exhaustion in arm
- Taking some rest while doing physical activity
- Using an ice pack on the affected area
- Employing compression bandage
- Elevating arm gently
6) Treatment for Left Arm Pain:
If the pain in the left is mild and not due to a serious cause, doing certain home remedies will help eradicate it and bring relief. If the pain is due to broken arm and fracture, then, of course, it would need several weeks to repair the bones and muscles using plaster. Sometimes, the treatment may include painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Physiotherapy can also do a great job in eradicating pain if the cause is some musculoskeletal issue.
Heart issues besides heart attack can be cured by taking necessary medications along with the recommended changes to the lifestyle. But when it comes to heart attack, extreme care, and urgent medical attention becomes vital because the condition could prove fatal if not addressed at the very earliest. Surgery sometimes remains the only option if the medication alone is not enough to cure the condition.
Pain in the left arm is not something that should be taken lightly as the underlying cause could be more serious than one could imagine. It might come as a surprise to some people but left arm pain could also be caused due to anxiety.
If the pain in your left arm is accompanied by other symptoms such as tightening and burning sensation in the center of the chest along with shortness of breath, it could be a signal of a heart attack. If your left arm is also red and swollen, there could be an underlying injury. As with any pain, a diagnosis from your doctor should put you on the road to recovery and extreme precautionary measures are there to be taken for bringing life back to normal. Read more Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria Treatment.