Various conditions can cause pain, numbness and tingling in the left arm. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, or NIAMS, pain in the left arm might indicate a myocardial infarction, or heart attack.
Nevertheless, other conditions may be more likely to cause left-sided arm pain, numbness and tingling. Most of the times, conditions triggering these symptoms are not a medical emergency situation and respond well to conservative care techniques.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a musculoskeletal condition that can cause pain in the left arm. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, or NINDS, thoracic outlet syndrome is caused by the compression of nerves or blood vessels as they course through the narrow passage leading from the lower neck to the axilla or armpit.
Possible symptoms and signs connected with thoracic outlet syndrome include headache, shoulder and arm on the afflicted side, arm numbness and tingling, aching pain in the left arm and hand, decreased grip strength, skin discoloration in the hand and arm swelling.
The Mayo Clinic specifies that possible causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include physiological flaws such as a cervical rib, bad position, terrible injuries, recurring activity, weight problems, increased joint pressure and pregnancy.
Cervical Disc Herniation
A cervical disc herniation can compress nerve roots in the neck and cause pain, numbness and tingling in the left arm. The Mayfield Clinic– one of the world’s biggest neurosurgical practices– states that a cervical disc herniation is a spine condition where the center of a back disc– the nucleus pulposus– ruptures through a weak spot in the disc’s fibrous outer ring. In some cases, the herniated disc product extends into the spine or the hole through which the spinal nerve roots– offshoots of the spine– leave the spinal column, compressing or irritating the nerve roots and causing arm pain, numbness and tingling on one side of the body.
Cervical disc herniation symptoms mostly depend upon the specific disc that ruptures, although typical symptoms and signs include pain that radiates down the neck and pain in the left arm and hand, arm numbness and tingling, muscles spasms, arm muscle weakness and reduced grip strength.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries include nerve issue that can cause pain, numbness and tingling in the left arm. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, or ASSH, brachial plexus injuries, also known as Erb’s palsy, are defined by issue to the network of nerves that take a trip from the neck to the arm by means of the axilla or armpit.
The most common cause of brachial plexus injuries is an overstretching of the neck. Most of the times, the head and neck are strongly required far from the impacted shoulder while the shoulder is depressed or forced downward. Motorcycle mishaps and contact sports injuries are common sources of brachial plexus injuries.
Possible symptoms and signs connected with brachial plexus injuries include an electrical shock-like sensation down the arm, numbness and tingling in the arm and, in more severe cases, the failure to use the arm or fingers.
Causes of Numbness and Pain in the Left Hand
Causes of pain and numbness in the left hand are possibly serious, such as in a cardiovascular disease, however more likely, belong to imbalances and/or problems in the musculoskeletal system of the upper back and neck or the shoulder and arm that develops the sensations. Modern conservative treatment is effective and ergonomic changes in addition to strengthening and stretching exercises can help to prevent recurrences.
Pain and numbness in the left hand, and generally felt in the entire arm and shoulder too, could be the result of a myocardial infarction (cardiovascular disease). Shortness of breath, pain into the throat, deep pain or pressure sensation beneath the breastbone, accompanied by pain in the hand and arm should be figured out by a doctor if the heart is the cause.
Nevertheless, the pain does not always need to be severe; it can be more on the mild side and for that reason not provoke one to look for medical help. Upon examination, these patients are generally restless and pale; their skin is cool to the touch and there may be a blue tint around their lips due to absence of oxygen, according to The Merck Manual.
The nerves that originate in the neck and descend to the arm might be a culprit in causing pain and numbness. If the point at which they exit the spine in the neck has actually ended up being jeopardized somehow, the nerve becomes impinged and can result in symptoms in the hand and arm.
During an examination, the health care supplier identifies which fingers are impacted in the hand, due to the fact that this correlates straight to which nerve has actually become problematic. It is practical if the patient can remember if it is the back and/or front of the hand and whether the tips of the fingers are involved since this provides further clues. The most typical cause is degenerative joint disease in the cervical spinal column (neck).
According to Yochum and Rowe, it is the fifth and sixth vertebral levels that are the most typical to go through degenerative change and can cause pain and numbness of the thumb and index and middle fingers of the hand in addition to on the exterior of the shoulder, arm and lower arm.
Numbness and pain in the hand can be due to problems in the arm and hand. The median nerve lies below the pronator muscle in the lower arm. If this muscle is too tight, it can put pressure on the nerve and develop sensations in the hand. Likewise, if the carpal tunnel at the wrist has inflamed tendons or swelling within it, one can get the same symptoms. Deep tissue therapy and some physical therapy techniques, even splinting of the wrist can remedy this and help to avoid surgery.
When to See a Doctor
Not all cases of pain in left arm are due to a heart problem such as a cardiac arrest. It might be a simple case of bad position when sleeping however it may likewise be a sign of another disease. However, you need to see a doctor when your arm, shoulder or back is unexpectedly or significantly painful, especially if it is accompanied by a sensation of fullness, pressure, or squeezing in the chest, which might indicate a cardiovascular disease. Another urgent need to see a doctor wants an injury, which causes an obvious defect, bleeding or other injuries.
Schedule a medical consultation for less immediate causes like left arm pain that does not enhance with home treatments done for several days, persistent or increasing swelling or pain, and other injuries that do not react to typical care.
Natural Remedies for Pain in Left Hand
The hand includes many different ligaments, muscles and bones which add to its dexterity and motion. Because the hand is so complex a range of conditions can contribute to pain in this area. If you are experiencing repetitive pain or it is accompanied by more serious symptoms, contact medical support as soon as possible while mild pain in the hands can typically be managed with natural home remedy.
1. Massage the Hands
Massaging the afflicted area of the hand using mild, circular movements for a number of minutes can help relax the tendons and ease stiffness to cause relief. Routine massages can likewise reduce palm or finger convulsions that are caused by pain in the hand.
Some find putting a cold compress on the inner wrist can help reduce inflammation. Others prefer to place a hot pack on the arm, wrist or hand to release stress in these areas. Alternating between these two approaches of treatment is perfect for dealing with conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
2. Keep Hands Warm
Soaking the hands in a mixture of warm water and essential oils for 15-20 minutes can ease pain. You need to soak sore hands a minimum of as soon as a week however this can be performed approximately 3-4 times a day as required. Using a relaxing hand cream after the hands have been soaked will offer added relief.
Warming the hands, especially at night, can reduce stiffness and swelling. Use a hand cream to guarantee the skin on the hands will remain damp and use thick gloves when it is cold to trap your body heat and convenience pain in the digits.
3. Apply Supporting Equipment
Ergonomic equipment refers to gel wrist supports that can be put in front of areas such as the computer system. These permit you to keep your hands and wrists in a more comfortable position to prevent damaging these areas. Hand braces can frequently be bought from your regional pharmacy.
These devices are created to keep the wrist in a healthy position so that they will not end up being exacerbated when you are carrying out repeated tasks such as typing. Some likewise discover that using a brace when hand pain takes place helps it to fade quicker.
4. Do Stretching Exercises
Resting the hand can help eliminate discomfort from overuse or conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome while stretching a sore hand can help relieve spasms. Fanning the fingers and carefully flexing them at the joint so they point towards the palm, turn the wrist clockwise then counterclockwise or open and close the hand over and over again to launch excess tension in these areas.