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Left Arm Tingling - Possible Causes of Tingling in Left Arm

Left Arm Tingling - Possible Causes of Tingling in Left Arm
Is your left arm tingling? Do not neglect the sign! Tingling in left arm may be a warning sign of something serious. Let us find some possible causes behind this condition and under which circumstances you need to rush to the doctor.
Aishwarya Nirmal
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018
Tingling in the left arm is often taken casually by most people. But actually, this could be one of the initial symptoms of some serious health condition. It is not necessary that the cause behind the numbness may always be serious, but symptoms like tingling or numbness and burning sensation in any part of the body should be immediately addressed by a physician. This will help you to get proper treatment on time. In this article we will discuss some of the possible causes of left arm tingling.
Causes of Tingling Sensation in Left Arm and Hand
Tingling feeling, also commonly known as pins and needles sensation, is generally experienced due to abnormal nerve activities. Some describe it as prickling, burning or a sensation of numbness. Together, all the terms have a scientific term, "paresthesia". Arm paresthesia or tingling in the left arm generally occurs due to lack of proper functioning of the nerves of the left arm. Below given are numerous causes of tingling of the left arm and hand.
Improper blood circulation: Improper blood circulation may be one of the most common reasons for tingling sensation in arm. Generally, a tight outfit or piece of jewelry worn on the arm can prevent proper circulation in the arm. Also, if you sleep awkwardly with your arm in a position such that blood cannot flow through it sufficiently, you may experience the pins and needles sensation.
Excess Stress: If excess stress or pressure is applied on the left arm, it may go numb or may cause tingling. Also, fatigue and weakness can, sometimes, cause tingling in the arm and it may go limp for some time. Pinched nerve may be a result of excess pressure applied on the nerves by the surrounding tissues and muscles, which further result in tingling sensation.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: This syndrome is related to the compression of the nerves which travel trough the narrow opening present in the back of the neck, armpit and arms. This compression may be a result of poor posture while sleeping, trauma, extra ribs, obesity, pregnancy, etc. Numbness, tingling, pain, swelling, discoloration are some of the symptoms of this syndrome.
Heart Attack: When the left arm or hand tingles, and at the same time you experience pain in your jaw as well as chest, it is a major indication of an oncoming heart attack. You are advised to immediately rush to the doctor.
▶ Stroke: Left arm tingling can also be a stroke symptom. Stroke is a medical condition in which the brain activity ceases due to insufficient supply of blood to the brain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): This syndrome is usually found in people working on the computer for a long period of time. Median nerve present in the carpal tunnel which when gets pressed, obstructs blood circulation and results in discomfort, numbness or tingling.
Disorders or Malfunctioning: Any disorder or malfunctioning related to the spine, like bulging disc, dislocated or ruptured vertebrae in the neck, nerve damage or nerve pinched in neck may affect the blood circulation of the arm. Improper blood flow in the arm will make a person feel the tingling sensation in the arm.
Other Causes
  • Lack of vitamin B12 may result in tingling and numbness as it is very essential for brain and nerve development.
  • Vascular damage may also result in constricted vessels which may hinder the blood circulation which in turn result in tingling sensation.
  • Multiple sclerosis is a condition in which myelin (protective sheath that covers nerves) is damaged. This disturbs the connection between the brain and the nerves of that particular area and result in tingling sensation.
  • Some medications may also cause numbness in the arms and other parts of the body.
When to Call on the Doctor
Though the tingling sensation itself needs medical attention, if any of the following conditions or symptoms match your condition, you will need to rush to the doctor immediately.
  • In case you feel weak, lose consciousness, are unable to see clearly or are feeling confused.
  • If the tingling occurs after some neck, head or back injury or after a fall.
  • If you feel that you are losing control over your body parts, or cannot control bowel movements.
  • If your tingling increases when you walk or in this case when you move your arm.
  • If you feel dizzy, uneasy or notice that you are urinating more often.
It is suggested that clenching and unclenching the fist or bending the elbow a few times, can get the sensation back to normal. Exercises may help to stimulate the blood flow in the arms. It is always better to visit a doctor if you feel any tingling sensation in the arm or hand. You may be suggest to undergo some medical tests like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) scan or Electrocardiogram (ECG), depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. These tests will help in the further diagnosis of the cause and the treatment will be suggested accordingly.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.