LEFT ARM FEELING WEIRD

 

How often do you experience your left arm feeling weird? How long does this experience of left arm feeling weird persist? What are the accompanying symptoms you experience long with this complain of left arm feeling weird? Can it be a serious issue or not, what are the causes? All of the issues will be addressed in the article below.

What exactly is the sensation of left arm feeling weird? How does it feel like? This complaint of left arm feeling weird can be as tingling sensation, numbness or in the form of pain.

Contents discussed in the article:

Common causes of left arm feeling weird

  • Anxiety

  • Poor blood supply

  • Traumatic causes

  1. burns

  2. bone fractures

  3. pinched nerves

  4.  brachial plexus nerve injury

  5. Herniated disc

  • Heart attack

  • Angina

  • Vascular thoracic outlet syndrome

  • Cervical spondylosis

  • Hemiplegic migraines

  • Cervical stenosis

  • Lead poisoning

 

Diagnosis

Treatment

When to see a doctor

Takeaway

 

Common causes of left arm feeling weird

  1. Anxiety: Anxiety is a response of body to excel in things by doing them on time and increasing the performance but whenever this response exceeds disproportionately to the situation and performance it forms a disorder. There are some symptoms in  a person with anxiety disorder:
  • Nervousness
  • Heart palpitations (tachycardia)
  • Heavy sweating
  • Hyperventilation
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms like constipation, diarrhea
  • Difficult sleeping/ insomnia

Anxiety makes a person sensitive to pain and the person can experience pain more significantly when there is some other cause of the pain or if the anxiety is severe. Anxiety can cause a person to hyperventilate and result in tingling and numbness in either arm or left arm feeling weird.

Therapy can be sought as a treatment for anxiety and is definitely has been proven helpful.

  1. Poor blood supply: Poor blood supply can be due to a number of diseases where the arteries and veins are involved and interfere with the blood flow and supply and these diseases include: Diabetes mellitus, hypertension or even kidney failure. This can cause left arm feeling weird i.e., numbness and tingling and alongside pain can also be felt, color change in fingertips, cold extremities, swelling.

Treatment is cause dependent and may involve from simple applying pressure to surgery.

  1. Traumatic causes:
  1. Burns: burns of high degree which destroy the nerve endings can cause weird feeling and numbness, tingling depending on the site of the burn and can cause left arm feeling weird. Burns can be chemical or heat burn.

Burns can be managed at home if they are minor with cold compress or cool water. If the burns are large, with some health issues or infection is suspected seek medical care. Severe burns can be life threatening as well and need medical attention as soon as possible.

  1. Bone fractures: Bone fractures can compress nerves and cause tingling, numbness and left arm feeling weird depending on the site of fracture. Bones need to positioned depending upon the type of fracture being minor or major, thus a cast or surgery can be of help.
  2. Pinched nerves: This involves some syndromes like carpel tunnel syndrome- affecting median nerve, cubital tunnel syndrome- ulnar nerve is affected, radial tunnel syndrome- radial nerve is affected. All this is caused due to overuse of these peripheral nerves.

Conservative treatments like avoiding the tasks, activities that involve these nerves and in extreme cases surgery might be needed.

  1. Brachial plexus injury: Brachial plexus is a group of nerves that run down the arm from spinal cord in the neck region and any injury to it can cause loss or weird feeling on either side and involve left arm feeling weird.
  2. Herniated disc: Bulging of the disc in the neck area can cause pressure on the nerves and result in tingling, numbness and left arm feeling weird.

Rest, ice application, heat application, or surgery might be needed.

  1. Heart attack: Heart attack may get initiated with a sudden pain in left arm and that is progressive in nature along with left arm feeling weird, numbness and tingling. If it is to be a heart attack a number of symptoms may be accompanied with it like jaw pain, shoulder pain, breathing difficulty, cold sweat, discomfort in chest.

If any of these symptoms are accompanying pain and left arm feeling weird, you need to see a doctor as this is a life threatening condition.

  1. Angina: Angina is the chest pain that result due to the decreased blood flow to the heart itself. Angina is seen to be associated with digestion issues, left arm feeling weird, left arm pain.

Angina indicates that the vessels of heart have stenosis and is called as Coronary artery disease. This condition needs immediate medical care.

  1. Thoracic outlet syndrome: This involves the compression of vessels and nerves due to the narrowing of the outlet by injuries, accidents and result in tingling and left arm feeling weird along with neck, hand.

Medications and physical therapy are helpful but in some cases surgery might be needed.

  1. Cervical spondylosis: Cervical spondylosis accompanied with myelopathy is a condition when the spinal cord is pressurised or compressed inside the neck due to degenerative arthritis in the area and cause tingling numbness and left arm feeling weird.

Physical therapy may be sufficing but surgery can also be recommended along with medications in some cases.

  1. Hemiplegic migraines: Sometimes the migraine in very rare cases can be associated with the weakness, tingling and numbness in one side of arm and cause left arm feeling weird. Migraines may be associated with sensitivity to light, sound, one-sided pain, and nausea.

Medications are helpful which involves some NSAIDs, 5HT1B/D agonist (somatriptin and ergotamines)

  1. Cervical stenosis: the condition where the spinal canal is narrowed due to some underlying conditions like spondylosis and result in weakness, tingling and left arm feeling weird.
  2. Peripheral neuropathy: Peripheral nerves when damaged due to some diseases or toxins or infections can result in weakness, numbness and tingling and left arm feeling weird. Some severe symptoms can be seen alongside like muscle wasting, paralysis etc.
  3. Lead poisoning: Poisoning can occur in different settings like due to occupation and result in poisoning of the particular element and in case of lead poisoning numbness in extremities is experienced and left arm feeling weird.

When the poisoning by lead is severe chelation therapy is the treatment of choice.

  1. Multiple sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis is a nervous system associated disease in which the immune system attacks nerves and myelin sheath and results in numbness and tingling in the extremities and a cause of left arm feeling weird.

There has been no specific treatment for multiple sclerosis but its progression and flare ups can be controlled by medications.

  1. Vitamin B-12 deficiency: Vitamin B-12 deficiency is seen to be associated with peripheral neuropathy. Vitamin B12 is needed by your body to make cells as it is important for DNA formation. Once vitamin B12 is low, your cells can no longer function well. This also causes your nerves to dysfunction resulting in tingling, numbness and left arm feeling weird.

Treatment involves having good meal like meat, eggs, poultry, and other supplements.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is history based which involves the history of trauma, underlying disease, vitamin deficiency, vascular and heart disease and history of injury. A brief physical examination is helpful too. A number of blood tests and imaging can be run to reach the diagnosis by your doctor and early possible interventions which involve from rest, physical therapy to surgery will be done as soon as the diagnosis is made.

 

Treatment

Treatment depends on the underlying cause which ranges from simple physical therapy, medications to surgery. In case of underlying diseases like heart diseases, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and others the underlying disease should be treated appropriately to avoid any serious complications.

 

When to see a doctor?

If you have associated symptoms like:

  • Chest pain with pressure
  • Headache and confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Shoulder and jaw pain
  • Swelling and infection
  • Dysphagia (Swallowing problem)
  • Difficult breathing

 

Takeaway

Left arm feeling weird can be because of some non-fatal cause like anxiety to a fatal reason like those mentioned in the article.

Sometimes this feeling can be because of a certain position that you have attained for a long time, where in the feeling goes away with time, and is a temporary condition. If, in any way, this feeling persists and you feel like no matter what you do the feeling does not go away, you should see a doctor. Particularly when you see symptoms like difficulty in swallowing, condition which is known as dysphagia, nausea, swelling and jaw pain, chest pain, and some other symptoms that have already been mentioned in the article.

With due care, and on-time medical intervention, you can save yourself from a fatal consequence- for what left arm feeling weird may be a warning sign.

 

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