Left Arm Pain: Causes And Treatment
Dr. Ken Best, D.C. is a Los Angeles chiropractor. Dr. Ken Best Chiropractor Los Angeles specializes in Applied Kinesiology and Brimhalls Six Steps to Wellness protocol. He is a certified teacher and practitioner of Thetahealing.
The SIX STEPS TO WELLNESS is the best chiropractic program available to persons who want more than just pain relief, it provides a systematic approach to uncovering areas that may be affecting your overall health and optimal well being. These include: physical, chemical and emotional stressors, in addition to: environmental and electrical pollution, nutrition and food sensitivities, and toxicity.
If your arm hurts, your first thought may be that you injured your arm. Pain in one part of the body can sometimes originate elsewhere.Arm pain can be caused by a wide variety of problems, ranging from joint injuries to compressed nerves. Depending on the cause, arm pain can start suddenly or develop over time.
Causes of left arm pain
There are many reasons why you may have left arm numbness, weakness, or pain,including
Often, an initial symptom of a heart attack is sudden left arm pain that gets increasingly intense over the course of a few minutes. When that happens, the muscle can quickly become damaged. Without treatment, the heart muscle starts to die.
Treatments for left arm pain
What Else Could Cause My Arm Pain
When your arm or is painful, it is most often due to a condition that is not as serious as a heart attack. Common causes of arm pain include:
Arm or shoulder muscle stress or due to over exercising and activities, such as sleeping in an awkward position
bone due to an injury
, inflammation of a bursa sac that cushions a joint
, a disorder that causes long-term tender spots and in the shoulders and other areas of the body
Injury to the neck or shoulder, which can cause pain to spread down the arm
, wear and tear of the joints in the arm and shoulder
, irritation of a tendon from strain or overuse such as in
Shortness Of Breath Nausea And Lightheadedness
Shortness of breath can occur with or without a chest pain during a heart attack. Most people dont realize this can happen before or after a heart attack as wellespecially for women..
Research has found that shortness of breath is the third most reported symptom before a heart attack among women and the top symptom during a heart attack.
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Act Fast To Save Your Life
If you think you could be having heart attack symptoms, don’t ignore your concerns. You should never feel embarrassed to call for help. Even if you’re not sure that you’re experiencing a heart attack, you should call 9-1-1.
Acting fast can save your life and remember â an ambulance is the safest way to get to the hospital. First responders can check on your vitals and start life-saving treatment right away. Furthermore, people arriving by ambulance often get faster treatment at the hospital. Every minute matters when it comes to getting treatment for myocardial infarction.
Does Heart Attack Always Come With Chest Pain
Although its uncommon, not everyone whos having a heart attack has chest pain . Women may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, sudden weakness that feels like the flu. Diabetics Diabetes A metabolic disorder in which the body has high sugar levels for prolonged periods of time. and the elderly may feel unwell, dizzy or weak. They may be short of breath. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women.
Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms: Chest Head Jaw And Tooth Pain
Chest discomfort, manifest as pain, fullness, and/or squeezing sensation of the chest
Chest pain is the hallmark symptom of a heart attack, although it can take many different forms. In other cases, chest pain may not occur at all. The characteristic chest pain of a heart attack has been described as a sense of pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain that starts in the center of the chest. The pain or discomfort typically lasts more than a few minutes, or it may go away and then return. It can spread down the arms, to the back, or to the head and neck. Both women and men report chest pain as a primary symptom of heart attack, but women more often than men are likely to have some of the other symptoms, such as nausea, jaw pain, or shortness of breath, that are described below.
Jaw pain, toothache, headache
The pain of a heart attack can spread down both arms, to the jaw or head, or to the back. Some people report tooth pain or headache as a symptom of a heart attack. It is possible to have these types of pain without chest pain during a heart attack.
Shortness of breath
Feeling short of breath or like you are gasping for air is a common symptom of a heart attack. Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, is medically known as dyspnea. Shortness of breath may occur before or during the chest pain of a heart attack, and in some cases, it may be associated with other heart attack symptoms without any chest pain.
Jaw Neck Or Back Pain
Jaw, neck or back pain may also serve as heart attack warning signs. While both men and women may experience pain in these areas ahead of a heart attack, research suggests women experience jaw and back pain, specifically, more frequently than men.
While the above symptoms are not always indications of heart attacks and may have other underlying causes, it is critical that you seek medical care immediately in the event that you or someone else starts exhibiting any of them. Calling 911 may be the fastest and most effective method of receiving prompt care.
If you are having a heart attack, every minute matters. Having emergency responders come to you, rather than you transporting yourself to the hospital, means medical professionals can begin treating you that much faster, which may ultimately mean the difference between life and death.
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Heart Attack Symptoms And Warning Signs
A heart attack happens when an artery that feeds oxygen-rich blood to the heart becomes obstructed. The heart muscle begins to die, and heart attack symptoms begin.
- Sudden shortness of breath.
- Sudden sweating or flu-like symptoms, including nausea, clamminess or cold sweats.
- Unusual fatigue, light-headedness, weakness or dizziness.
- Pain that radiates. Men and women often experience this pain differently, as explained below.
- Intermittent pain that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. This sensation can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or fullness.
- Anxiety or a feeling of doom.
- If you have angina: Any change in the frequency, duration or intensity of symptoms, which do not respond to nitroglycerin.
What Does Pain In Left Arm Feel Like If Heart Issues
Left arm pain anxiety is a documented condition. So, the pain in your left arm could be the result of anxiety, but it could be the result of a heart problem or injury. If the pain in your left arm is accompanied by other symptoms such discomfort in the center of the chest and shortness of breath , it could be a signal of heart problems.
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Why Arm Pain And Heart Issues Are Related
The reason some people may experience pain in their arms when they are dealing with a heart issue is because of the way the human nerve system is designed. Nerves run all over the body, but there are specific nerves that connect the center parts of the heart to the upper arm area.
According to HealthTap, the nerve that is primarily responsible for painful sensations in the arm as a result of heart issues is the C3,4,5, phrenic nerve. For older men and women, arm pain is often a symptom of a heart attack, especially if the pain is accompanied by a feeling of dullness or numbness in the arm. Even if you are relatively young, pain in your arm can still be connected to issues with your heart.
Upper Body Pain Or Discomfort
While many people typically assume that heart attack pain is concentrated around their chest and left arm, pain can affect different parts of the upper body.
Many women who have suffered a heart attack have experienced back, neck or jaw pain that began gradually or suddenly and was strong enough to wake them up from sleep. Unexplained pain should be reported to your doctor immediately.
Arm pain can also be a sign of a heart attack. This can affect either one or both arms.
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Catch The Signs Early
Dont wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Download the common heart attack warning signs infographic |
Some Other Early Warning Signs
Identifying early warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack is very important. The faster one seeks medical attention, the faster one can prevent dire situations from arising. Besides arm pain, some other early heart attack symptoms are as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Heaviness in the chest region
- Irregular heartbeats
- Pain spreading to the jaw, neck, shoulder and arms
- Pain radiating from the chest all the way to upper back
People with high blood pressure, with a family history of heart disease, aging people, people with type 1 diabetes, cigarette smokers, alcoholics, sedentary lifestyle people, people consuming diets high in saturated fats need to be cautious of these symptoms if any, due to higher vulnerability to heart attacks. Such people should take extra precautions and make certain crucial lifestyle changes.
Daily exercising, consumption of a healthy, well-balanced diet, refraining from alcohol and smoking, etc. will help reduce ones susceptibility to get a heart attack. Heart attacks can affect anybody, irrespective of the age, sex, caste or creed. However, we need to take as many precautionary measures as we can. Better safe than sorry!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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What To Do When A Heart Attack Occurs
If you believe a person is having a heart attack, have them sitting, keep them calm, loosen any tight clothing they may be wearing, have the person take any chest pain medications like nitroglycerin. If pain does not improve within three minutes of taking the medication, call emergency right away. Always call 911 immediately if a person is unconscious.
DO NOT leave the person, have them convince you not to call 911, wait to see if symptoms go away, give the person anything by mouth unless it is a prescribed medication.
You Get Exhausted Easily
If you suddenly feel fatigued or winded after doing something you had no problem doing in the past — like climbing the stairs or carrying groceries from the car — make an appointment with your doctor right away.
“These types of significant changes are more important to us than every little ache and pain you might be feeling,” Bufalino says.
Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness, sometimes for days at a time, can be a symptom of heart disease, especially for women.
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Another Reason Your Chest May Hurt
That pain in your chest could be linked to another kind of attack that has nothing to do with your heart.
A panic attack or anxiety can reveal itself with symptoms chest tightness, sweating, shortness of breath that mimic those of a heart attack. There are some key differences between a panic attack and a heart attack, though.
- Many heart attacks follow physical strain or exertion, an indicator not typically connected to panic attacks.
- Panic attacks often feature a stabbing pain as opposed to the elephant-on-your-chest squeezing feeling that often accompanies a heart attack.
- Pain from heart attacks frequently radiates to other areas. In a panic attack, it usually stays in the chest area.
Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms: Digestive Problems
Nausea or feeling sick on your stomach is a less common but possible symptom of a heart attack. Sometimes belching or burping can accompany nausea, and some patients have described a feeling like indigestion associated with a heart attack. Women are more likely than men to report these less typical symptoms of heart attack, and some patients have described feeling as though they are developing the flu.
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Discomfort That Lessens With Exercise
If a sharp pain strikes your chest but improves as you move around a bit well, you may be looking at a case of heartburn or some other gastrointestinal issue.
An estimated 15 million Americans a day experience heartburn, which brings an uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest and a sour feeling in your throat. An over-the-counter antacid can help bring some relief.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Blunt Injury To The Heart
A blunt injury to the heart can cause various symptoms. Most people have pain and often bruising or other injuries around the breastbone or ribs. Some people have symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath. People may go into shock. Their skin may be sweaty, cool, and bluish, and blood pressure may be dangerously low.
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Men Women Perceive Heart Attack Symptoms Differently
Not only can women and men have different symptoms of heart disease, but the genders also differ in how they perceive their symptoms. Its important for women not to minimize or overlook their own symptoms.
Women have more problems than men because they tend to take care of the whole family and then forget about themselves. And when they have symptoms, they say, I have no time for this. And that can also be very dangerous, said Jairo Cruz, MD, cardiologist at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields.
Women should have the “same level of aggressiveness” as men and get an evaluation if they suspect a heart issue, said Dr. Jones. That means heading to the nearest emergency room so a diagnosis can be made. “The other piece is the treatment. We need to be just as aggressive in managing heart disease in women as we are in men,” Dr. Jones said.
Dr. Jones said a patient who knows the risks will be less likely to incorrectly blame their discomfort on heartburn, something he’s seen happen too many times. “They’ll think twice and say, ‘Hey, this could be my warning sign of a heart attack’ and not blow it off,” he said.
Whether youre a man or women, if you suspect you might be having a heart attack, call 911. Every second counts.
How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Serious
Some types of chest pain should send you to the emergency room particularly if it lasts for at least five minutes.
Symptoms could include new or unexplained chest pain coupled with shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea, fatigue or lightheadedness. Aside from your chest, the pain, pressure or discomfort also may radiate to your:
- Upper stomach.
Lasting and unrelenting pain in these areas may signal a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, says Dr. Rimmerman. Call 911 to seek immediate treatment to save heart muscle.
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Home Remedies For Left Arm Pain
Until you can get to your doctor, home treatment can help arm injuries. For example, if you think that your arm is broken, use a sling to immobilize it and apply ice packs as you wait for medical attention.
Many other types of arm pain can improve on their own, especially if you:
- take time off from any normal activities that can tire your arm
- use an ice pack on the sore area three times a day for 1520 minutes
Is Your Chest Pain A Sign Of A Heart Attack Or Something Else
Chest pain is frightening and must be taken seriously. So know this: If you are having severe discomfort in the chestespecially if the chest pain is radiating to your neck, jaw or armsand its accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness and sweating, call 911 immediately. Some people may not have chest pain at all during a heart attack, but they may have the other symptoms listed. In that case, its still best to call 911.
But sometimes chest pain isnt a heart attack. It might have a different cardiac cause or be totally unrelated to your heart. Here are three clues that its not a heart attack:
If you are experiencing chest pain like this, call your doctor to make an appointment.
Chest pain that isnt a heart attack can be heart-related or not .