- Aging & Longevity
Pain in Left Arm - How To Deal With It?
Why Does My Left Arm Hurt?
A common assumption with pain on the left side of your body – specifically pain in left arm is that you are experiencing a heart attack (angina) or another heart-related ailment. While it could be a heart attack, there are actually many other issues that could be the actual cause of the pain.
Pain in Left Arm: Is it a Heart Attack?
Pain in Left Arm: Heart Issues
While there are many different causes of pain in the left arm, the possibility that it's related to your heart can't be completely dismissed.
If you are experiencing a heart condition like angina, the pain in your left arm will also be accompanied by pain in your chest, or the pain itself will radiate downwards from your shoulder to your arm.
A heart attack can be felt as either dull or shooting pain so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should head to an emergency room. Heart attacks are extremely serious and symptoms that mimic those mentioned are definitely of concern and should not be ignored at any cost.
Left-Arm Pain: Stress and Psychology
Pain on the left side of the body can also be caused by psychological issues and stress. While most people would not think that their emotional state could cause physical pain, psychological issues cannot be so easily dismissed.
People experience stress for many different reasons. When the stress gets to be too much, however, you may start to feel a physical strain in addition to the emotional and mental ones. Generally, if pain in your left arm is caused by chronic stress, the pain will likely be dull and heavy.
Physical pain during a panic attack or when under intense stress is more common than you might think: a panic attack has similar physical symptoms, in terms of heart rate and blood pressure, to a heart attack.
Pain in Left Arm: Overuse and Physical Activity
The most common cause of pain in your left arm is actually due to overuse.
It is quite common for those with a primarily sedentary lifestyle to overdo physical activities when they first begin exercising. Unless you take care to warm up properly and stretch out all of your muscles in advance, injury is a very real possibility.
The easiest way to determine if the pain is due to overuse would be to examine your activities over the past 24 to 48 hours to see if you've done any new activities recently. In most instances this simple analysis will help you determine the root cause of your pain and in some cases, what activities to avoid in the future! Treating this pain is typically a matter of waiting and over-the-counter pain medication. However, if your pain continues for a significant period of time a consultation with a qualified medical professional is very definitely recommended.
Pain in Left Arm: Sleep, Posture and Bad Circulation
The symptoms that characterize pain due to sleeping incorrectly and those suffering with bad circulation are somewhat similar. In both cases it is possible that your arm feels “dead” or the converse that you have a pins and needles feeling in your arm and it feels tingly. The treatment in both scenarios is rather different however:
- Sleep and Posture Issues: Quite often sleeping on your arm in an awkward position or simply standing in one position for too long a period of time—straining one part of your body more than the other—can be the cause of pain. In most instances, simply changing the way in which you are standing or sleeping can make all the difference in addressing this issue. While the pain due this cause can be acute, it is generally short in terms of duration and medication is not required.
- Bad Circulation Issues: Generally treating issues with bad circulation is a bit more complicated requiring medication after positive analysis. As bad circulation is a condition that affects your whole body, while the feeling might be focused on your left arm, the issues are often larger.
As mentioned, even though the symptoms in both cases are similar, treatment varies significantly. So, if you experience symptoms similar to this try to determine which scenario applies to you. Generally pain in the left arm related to sleep and posture will pass fairly quickly whereas if the problem is related to bad circulation it will be more chronic in nature. If the latter scenario applies to you, a visit to a qualified medical practitioner is very much recommended so that appropriate tests may be carried out.
Medication to Treat Left Arm Pain
A particular medication or medication in general might be the culprit of the pain, despite it being a solution in other cases.
If you have recently introduced prescription drugs into your system for any other condition or reason outside of your left arm pain, it is worth checking to see what what the expected side effects are. This may include arm pain or pain in the left side of your body. However, even if a list of expected side effects doesn't include it, a consultation with a medical professional may still be worth it. In some cases, alternative medicines or dosages are an option simply so that you can completely rule this out as the possible cause of the pain.
Conclusion: Consult a Medical Professional for Left Arm Pain
In conclusion, there can be various reasons for the pain in your left arm. While pain in the left arm might be due to an associated heart condition, it may not be the only culprit or even the culprit at all for you. One should always consult a qualified medical practitioner if there is ever any concern so that appropriate tests may be carried out to find out the actual, confirmed cause. Proper treatment can then be determined from there.