Left Arm Pain | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment [2021 Guide]

Arm pain can be a debilitating condition, and it presents itself through many symptoms. The symptoms can be mild, such as those connected with the natural aging processes. Some symptoms, however, are more difficult to tolerate and require you to seek medical assistance. Medical science makes a clear distinction between left arm and right arm pain. This article will try to go over the causes, symptoms, and treatments of left arm pain.


If you have been experiencing pain, stiffness, difficulty moving or swelling in the left arm recently or for more extended periods, you might be curious to find out the reason and the actions you should take to get rid of the pain.


Experiencing left arm pain can be a limiting factor for many activities you would want to participate in, so the purpose of this article is to help you deal with and overcome the pain in the left arm. 


Numerous conditions might cause left arm pain. Some are tendonitis, sprains, strains, frozen shoulder, arthritis, and more serious ones, including heart attack.


Before we jump to conclusions, let's see what causes left arm pain to have a clearer picture of what we want to fight.


Causes Of Left Arm Pain


From a simple strain to a heart problem, the causes of left arm pain are numerous, and some of them have yet to be discovered and studied. However, we have picked some causes of left arm pain and attempted to explain the body mechanisms that provoke them and present them as symptoms.


Tendonitis


Tendonitis is one of the many possible causes. Named after tendons, the flexible bands of tissue that connect bones and muscles, tendonitis results in inflammation, tearing, or irritation of the tendons. Tendonitis can be either acute or chronic. Repetitive activities in sportspeople cause tendonitis. Those working at jobs that require repetitive movement are also at risk of suffering from this condition. A more severe injury can also affect the tendons negatively, causing tendonitis.


sportsman suffering left arm pain after an injury


A long-lasting poor-posture or the presence of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout/pseudogout, blood, or kidney diseases can cause the inflammation of the tendons. It commonly happens in the elbow, knee, shoulder, hip, Achilles tendon, and base of the thumb.


The elderly are more prone to tendonitis because as tendons age, they tolerate less stress, are less elastic, and tear more easily. Certain medications can cause tendons to tear. These medications include Fluoroquinolone antibiotics and statins (drugs that lower cholesterol).


Angina


Angina can cause pain in the left arm. It is a symptom of coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is a type of heart disease that develops when the heart's arteries cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. 


Since your heart muscles aren't getting enough oxygen-rich blood, too much plaque builds up inside arteries, causing them to narrow. Narrowed arteries can cause left arm pain because they can block blood flow to your heart muscle and the rest of your body.


Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. 


Bursitis


Bursitis happens when the so-called bursa becomes inflamed. These cushion-like sacs prevent friction, rubbing, and inflammation at the points where bone would otherwise rub on muscle, tendons, or skin by padding them. Repetitive movement is the leading cause of bursitis. The risk of bursitis increases with age.


Broken bone


A broken bone in the left arm might go unnoticed for a while since there is no physical sign of an injury. However, left untreated, it causes pain that can become insufferable. It's possible to have a bone fracture or break in your arm or wrist even though your arm appears normal.


See Also: What Is Flank Pain - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment In 2021

Herniated disk


A herniated disk is another cause of left arm pain. It can cause pain in your neck and then spread to your shoulder and left arm. Disks are pads between the bones in the spinal column. They're the shock absorbers of your spine. A herniated disk that is left untreated can provoke severe symptoms.


A consequence of an untreated herniated disk can be a pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy, which also causes left arm pain. The spinal cord nerves that already have been affected by a herniated disk can experience trauma or a wear-and-tear injury.


Anxiety


Anxiety is another common cause of left arm pain. Anxiety can cause muscles in the arm to become tense, and that tension could lead to pain. When another condition is causing left arm pain, anxiety can make the pain worse. Left-arm pain, in particular, is not an isolated sign of anxiety but typically a part of a more severe anxiety problem.


Heart attack


A heart attack happens when a blood clot or rupture in a coronary artery stops blood flow to part of your heart. The heart muscle and all the other muscles the heart pumps the blood to, such as left-arm muscles, can quickly become damaged or die.


left arm pain - a sign of heart attack


We have mentioned some of the conditions that cause left arm pain and touched upon specific symptoms. But how do you recognize left arm pain symptoms? And further, how do you know what causes them?


The next chapter has information on how to recognize symptoms of left arm pain associated with various conditions.


We highly advise you that you seek urgent medical assistance if any of these types of pain occur.


Symptoms Of Left Arm Pain


The most researched condition of those mentioned in the previous chapter is a heart attack. In this case, the accompanying symptoms may be pain or a tightening sensation in your chest, pain in your back, neck, shoulder, or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fatigue. An oncoming heart attack can also cause left-arm pain.


Left-arm pain may be a dull ache or a shooting pain, and it may accompany other symptoms. If the pain is severe or persistent and you are experiencing headaches or muscle weakness, see a doctor. It would be good to seek emergency care if the pain results from trauma or any stroke or heart attack symptoms.


Suppose you experience pain in a tendon that gets worse when you move. In that case, difficulty moving the joint, feeling a grating or crackling sensation when you move the tendon, swelling, sometimes with heat or redness, the symptoms might be caused by tendonitis.


Bursitis is the condition where the bursa - a cushion-like sac that prevents the rubbing of bones and muscles - provokes symptoms like disabling joint pain and a sudden inability to move a joint. There can be excessive swelling, redness, bruising, or a rash on the left arm. During exercise, bursitis can present in sharp or shooting pain, especially when you exert yourself heavily. Fever is a common symptom of bursitis.

discomfort and left arm pain



Hunching while standing or sitting (causes of poor posture pain) can cause your back, core, arm, and abdominal muscles to become strained and painful. The blood supply to these areas reduces, so stiffness and weakness in the trunk, lower back, and left arm can appear.


The elderly might suffer the consequences of a long-lasting poor posture and lack of movement due to their often sedentary lifestyle. Poor posture can express symptoms like rounded shoulders, bent knees when standing or walking, head that either leans forward or backward, back pain, body aches and pains, including left arm pain, muscle fatigue, and headaches.


A herniated disk can provoke very uncomfortable symptoms of various kinds and intensity, causing lower back or neck pain. It can incite numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, or feet. When suffering from a herniated disk, you will find it hard to bend or straighten your back. If the disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve, you will likely experience severe sharp pain, and you should see a doctor immediately.


Left-arm pain caused by anxiety can go along with symptoms such as restlessness, tension, breathing rapidly, feeling weak or tired, and trouble concentrating.


As you can see, each left arm pain goes with numerous other symptoms, and sometimes it is hard to decipher your particular diagnosis. However, if you have found yourself in any of the symptoms listed in this chapter, read the following one, in which there will be more on how to treat left arm pain and accompanying symptoms and conditions.


How To Treat Left Arm Pain


Before you can see a doctor, you can try some of the below advice to soothe your left arm pain.


In many cases, you can treat arm pain with home remedies. Take some time off work or any other activities that can prolong the pain or make it worse. Avoid intense exercise and movement.


To reduce inflammation, you can lie down and place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day. You can also use a compression bandage to reduce swelling. With more severe pain, try using pain medication. 


See Also: Shockwave Therapy - Everything You Need To Know


Keep your arm elevated to help reduce swelling and pain.


Since left arm pain is almost always due to inflammation, once you see a doctor, they will probably prescribe anti-inflammatory medication. Corticosteroids can help reduce the underlying cause and the subsequent pain, making pain management more effective.


In some cases, when movement is limited and interferes with your daily activities, physical therapy is a good option. In instances of severe arm pain, surgery may be necessary. Examples include torn ligaments and broken bones.


physical therapy for left arm pain


Don't you think it would be fantastic if we could prevent left arm pain from happening at all? The following short chapter will give you clues on preventing left arm injuries and their consequences.


Preventing Left Arm Pain


Left-arm pain most commonly happens due to a preventable injury or condition. Let's see what you can do to avoid any pain in your arms.


Try to stretch regularly, in the morning or afternoon, particularly before exercising. It would be good to make sure you are in an adequate condition for performing exercises to prevent injury. You can get this kind of advice from a professional or an instructor who can help you perform activities properly, avoiding the risk of injury.


You must wear protective equipment while playing sports. Although this might seem like a drag and impractical, you would be surprised to know that wearing adequate equipment reduces your chance of a severe left arm injury by 60%.


It would help if you always did everything to stay in shape since you are more prone to injury when your muscles haven't been active for a while. Exercise regularly, but make sure the instructor adjusts the training to your specific body shape and muscle condition.


When cleaning the house or performing any physical work, make sure you lift objects carefully, so you can notice whether they are too heavy before an injury occurs.


Prevention is better than cure; however, if you are already dealing with left arm pain, we have summed up your treatment options. In the next chapter, you will find out about the most effective and painless procedure that reduces pain dramatically, with no consequences or lengthy downtimes that you would have to go through after surgery.


Let's see what this treatment option is and how it can help you. 


What Is EPAT, And How Can It Help Me Fight Left Arm Pain?


EPAT or Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology is a form of extracorporeal shock wave therapy. It is the most advanced, completely safe, and highly effective non-invasive treatment method for pain.


Through the application of this procedure, damaged tissues gradually recuperate and eventually heal. New, healthy tissues are formed, thus preventing new injuries and medical conditions. This non-invasive, clinic-based procedure is a breakthrough treatment option.


At the beginning of each EPAT session, a coupling gel is applied to the specified treatment area to enhance effectiveness. EPAT pressure waves are released through the applicator, moving over the area in a circular motion. 


You will experience the beneficial effects of Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) after only three treatments. Some patients report immediate pain relief after the treatment. The procedure eliminates pain and restores full mobility, thus improving your quality of life. Over 80% of patients treated report being pain-free and have significant pain reduction.

Cleared by FDA, this technology was developed in Europe and is currently used around the globe. A wealth of medical experience, state-of-the-art engineering, and optimal quality have been integrated into each EPAT® device. The extensive clinical studies and tests have confirmed its safety and efficacy. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT®) has virtually no risks or side effects if performed by a qualified caregiver.


A wealthy medical experience, cutting-edge engineering, and optimal quality are integral to each EPAT device. At Triumph Health Centers, we treat each patient as an individual, focusing on your needs and requests, devoting time and attention to make your treatment procedure as comfortable as it gets.

Let us help you. For more information, clients' experiences, reviews, and getting in touch, contact us and start the fantastic recovery journey.