Tingling in the left hand is an abnormal sensation, and is mostly a symptom of an underlying health problem. Read this article to find out the possible causes responsible for the same.
Tingling can be described as a feeling wherein it seems as if something is pricking your body (in this case, your left hand) with a pin or a needle. It may affect a specific part of the hand or the entire hand. Sometimes, it comes with other symptoms like a dull pain and a sense of numbness. It not only causes a lot of discomfort, but many people tend to get panicked as they feel that the problem could be related to the heart. Though the fact remains that it can also occur due to problems of nerves, muscles, blood circulation, etc.
There are various health problems that can cause a tingling sensation in the left hand. Some of them are serious issues; while others may not be that serious. The most commonly found causes have been explained below along with their accompanying symptoms.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This is caused due to the pressure on the median nerve present at the base of the palm. Its symptoms are pain, numbness, tingling feeling in the left hand fingers, and loss of strength in the entire hand. Those people whose work involves repetitive use of the wrist such as typing, playing keyboard, playing sports like tennis, etc., are more prone to it. During pregnancy, a tingling sensation in the hand is mostly because of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pinched Spinal Nerve: The peripheral nerves of the spine are extended to the limbs to facilitate movements of the fingers, hands, and feet. If any of these nerves that are stretched to the left hand is pinched, it has a tingling effect in the hand. A traumatic injury to the cervical spine, herniated disc, cervical bone spurs, and spinal arthritis; are often responsible for a pinched peripheral nerve.
Raynaud’s Phenomenon: This is a health condition which arises when the blood vessels present in the left hand, narrow down and restrict proper flow of blood. Usually, this happens under the influence of low temperature and strong emotions like stress and anxiety. It can affect the right hand and other parts of the body as well.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): This is a more serious condition and is also referred to as a mini-stroke. In this case, the tingling sensation lasts hardly for an hour or two. It may not be a life-threatening condition but it should be considered as a warning sign of a possible stroke in the future. It occurs due to presence of small blood clots in an artery of the brain.
Stroke: Insufficient supply of blood to the brain leads to stroke. If the blood flow of the right side of the brain is disrupted, then one of the key symptom in this condition is tingling of the left hand. Its other symptoms are pain, numbness, or complete loss of sensation on the left side of the body, visual problems, difficulty in speech, etc. All these stroke symptoms show up all of a sudden. This is a serious health issue which requires emergency medical treatment.
Other Causes: Diabetic patients experience this symptom when the nerves in the left hand become damaged by uncontrolled diabetes over a period of time. Alcoholism also has an adverse effect on the functioning of the nerves in the body and can trigger this problem. Other possible causes behind tingling in left arm are: ganglion cysts, side effects of certain medicines, underactive thyroid, deficiency of vitamins, etc.
As discussed in the previous section, if the tingling is accompanied by other symptoms of stroke, then medical intervention is needed on an emergency basis within an hour of the onset of the symptoms. If it is due to a transient ischemic attack, then changes have to be brought about in the lifestyle to prevent a stroke. In other cases, the underlying cause is determined by physical examination of the hand, studying the medical history of the patient. X-ray and MRI scan, are then required to confirm the findings. When tingling is accompanied by pain, the hand should be given proper rest. Medicines and injections are administered to bring down the intensity of the painful symptoms temporarily. Physical therapy may also be recommended for the purpose of pain management and improving the mobility of the hand. If there is some serious damage to the nerves, surgery may be required.
Since tingling of the left hand could be a symptom of some serious life-threatening health conditions, you should not neglect this problem. By observing the accompanying symptoms, you may be able to guess the cause behind it, but you can cure it only after consulting your doctor. Diabetic patients are advised to keep the blood sugar levels in control to prevent frequent recurrence of unusual tingling in their body, including the left hand.