Pain in the Left Arm: Causes & Managements

People who are experiencing pain in their left arm should know there are many causes behind it, like hurt to left arm or more serious physical issues.

Typically when people say they are experiencing pain in their arm, they mean that some area between the shoulder and their wrist is sore. But with left arm pain, many times this pain can be centered in some area on the arm, but it can radiate out to the neck, spine or chest due to the heavy amount of nerves, muscles and major arteries in this area. This can cause people to become alarmed because pain in the left arm is associated with heart trouble. In many cases, you do not need to panic when you start to experience pain in this area, but you should determine what other symptoms are paired with your arm pain so you can get the medical care if needed.

What May Cause Pain in Left Arm?

There are various reasons of pain in the left arm. Diseases, emotional condition, medications, etc. are all the possible causes when one is experiencing left arm pain. The detailed information are given below.

Heart trouble

One of the most severe causes of pain in the left arm is heart trouble. Those who suffer from angina will often feel pain in the chest that can radiate up to the shoulders and down to the arm. In more severe cases, heart attacks can lead to pain in the left arm and the chest. This pain will feel like a squeezing or tightening sensation which may act as a shooting sensation down the arm. If this pain comes on suddenly or feels very severe, then it is important to take it very seriously. If pain in your chest and arm is paired with nausea, dizziness or a sudden overwhelming weakness, then it is important to get help right away.


Stress can also cause your left arm to become tight and sore. If you have been feeling an overwhelming amount of stress recently, perhaps due to work related issues or difficulties in your personal life, this stress can manifest itself in physical symptoms. It is not uncommon for chronic stress to cause dull pain in left arm which can grow to become heavy over time. Panic attacks can also lead to tightness in the chest or pain in the arm which may feel quite similar to a heart attack in the moment. A panic attack will often be accompanied by rapid breathing or a dangerously increased heart rate due to anxiety.

Poor circulation

Poor circulation can often make your left arm sore as well. The left arm is often more affected than the right due to the direction of blood flow in the body, but if you are dealing with a circulation problem, your whole body will be affected. If you notice that your digits or limbs tend to fall asleep easily or tend to be colder, then these are signs that your circulation is not at the rate that it should be. This may also manifest itself as a dull ache or tightness in the limbs, especially when you are not moving for a long period of time.


Certain medications can also contribute to poor circulation which can lead to pain in the left arm over time. If you are beginning to experience some of the side effects listed above and you have recently started a new medication, read the patient information about this medication carefully. It is possible that you are suffering from a side effect that is causing pain in left arm. Talk with your doctor about these concerns so you can perform an examination that will allow you to determine if your prescription is the culprit.

Physical difficulties

Sometimes physical difficulties can lead to pain in the arm which can be uncomfortable. Over-using your arm or taking on heavy physical activity such as heavy lifting or exercising two or more days in a row can lead to pain in the arm. If your pain is intense or severe, it is possible that you have injured the muscles or joints in your arm. Thinking through the activities that you have recently undergone can often lead you back to the root cause of this pain.

Poor posture 

Similarly, poor posture or sleeping in unhealthy positions can lead to pain in the left arm over time. If you frequently feel the "pins and needles" sensation in your left arm associated with your arm falling asleep or your arm will occasionally go numb in addition to it being sore, then you may have pinched nerve in this area. Lying in an awkward position for a long period of time or overusing one side of your body compared to the other can often lead to this trouble.

Dealing with Pain in Left Arm

Pain in the left arm can be very annoying and afflictive. Given below are some methods for you to deal with this condition.

Home care

If you have injured your arm by performing excessive physical activity, you can easily treat this with a bit of home care. Take a break from any activities that cause you to strain your left arm. Apply ice or a compression bandage to the painful area to take down any swelling and keep your arm elevated.

Increase physical activity

If you suspect that poor circulation is to blame for your discomfort, then you should work to increase your physical activity. Performing cardio exercises can improve your circulation all over the body. Performing activities such as push-ups or using small hand weights can help specific issues in your left arm.

Seek medical assistance

Any time that your arm pain is associated with severe redness or swelling in the area, several days of pain with no improvement, bleeding or a sudden onset of pain, it is important to seek medical assistance. If you hear a snapping or cracking sound when the injury takes place or you are having trouble moving your arm, then you will also need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

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