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Left Arm Weakness

Left Arm Weakness

Left arm weakness is a symptom pointing to a specific health condition. The condition can be as small as a muscle pull or can be as major as a heart attack. Keep reading to know more about the causes of this condition and the treatment for it.
Pragya T
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018
Physical therapist evaluating range of motion of patient in wheelchair
Certain activities can lead to left arm pain, which eventually if left untreated will result in severe arm pain and weakness. So it is important when suffering from left arm pain or weakness, one takes effective home care measures to prevent further aggravation of the condition. Here are some common causes related to this condition.
Causes
Listed below are the causes which can lead to left arm pain and weakness.
  • Repetitive left hand wrist movement can lead to intersection syndrome which causes arm pain.
  • Condition of tendinitis in left arm, which is the inflammation of a tendon can result in arm pain.
  • Inflammation of the small sacs near the arm joint or bursitis can also cause mild or severe arm pain.
  • A broken left arm or left hand wrist can cause severe arm pain and weakness.
  • Strain injuries in the left arm can be another causative factor of arm weakness and pain.
  • Brachial plexus injury results in arm pain and weakness, when a group of nerves get stretched or torn.
  • Spraining of the left arm can cause arm pain and weakness.
  • Another condition which leads to weakness of arm is thoracic outlet syndrome, which occurs mostly due to physical trauma.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause left hand and forearm weakness.
  • Stretching your head and neck away from your shoulder while playing a sport can give a person a sensation of electric shock, which causes a feeling of weakness running down the arm.
  • Infection of the arm can also cause weakness.
  • Lack of muscle in the arm region or some other muscular disorder can lead to weakness of arm.
  • Condition affecting the nerve fibers called postherpetic neuralgia, can cause arm pain and numbness.
  • Feeling of pressure in chest accompanied with left arm pain is a sign of heart attack.
Treatment
The treatment for arm weakness depends on the cause. Most cases can be treated at home and one can find relief from arm pain within a period of 1 week. But medical help is required in the mentioned below cases.
Home Care
  • Try to rest the arm as much as possible and sit in a posture where your arm is relaxed and not strained.
  • To reduce the arm pain and weakness, take few days off from school or work. So, that the arm can get enough rest and time to heal.
  • Restrict the movement of you arm.
  • To soothe pain and swelling, press ice compress 2 - 3 times in a day on the affected arm area.
  • Keep the arm elevated to reduce the amount of arm swelling. Support the arm with few pillows that it is supported and kept at an elevated level.
When to Seek Medical Care
Schedule an 'appointment' with the doctor if:
  • The left arm pain doesn't get better within a period of 1 week after following home care tips.
  • If symptoms like swelling, pain and redness worsen.
  • If you have a brachial plexus injury which does not heal within a month.
See the doctor 'right away' if:
  • You experience severe swelling or pain in your arm.
  • If you have trouble moving your arm.
  • If you have had a sudden injury of your arm with a snap or cracking noise.
Seek 'emergency medical help':
  • If you notice left arm numbness or back or shoulder pain which occurs suddenly and is accompanied by a feeling of pressure in your chest.
  • If you have a deformity like a protruding bone in your arm or wrist area.
  • If you notice any large bleeding injury.
People mostly develop left arm weakness when the arm is severely sprained or strained during a physical activity. In such cases, one can get relief by following home care measures of resting the arm and using compress to reduce pain. However, keep in mind the above specific conditions which need immediate medical attention.
Wrist Exerciser
Woman Doing Exercises
Tai Chi Yoga And Qigong
Woman Doing Exercises With Suspension Straps
Some Gentle Stretching Of Their Muscles
Concerned Senior Patient Talks With Nurse
Physical Therapist Doing Stretches With Patient
Patient Getting Injected