Left Arm Pain and Anxiety: Causes & Symptoms
The term “left arm” refers to the upper arm or forearm. The word “anxiety” means fear or apprehension. Both words are used interchangeably in everyday speech.
But there is one thing that they have in common; both terms refer to feelings of uneasiness, worry, and sometimes even anger when it comes to your left arm (or any other part of your body).
Anxiety disorders are very common. They affect between 10% and 20% of the population in some form. These include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Each of these conditions is characterized by excessive nervousness or worry about a particular situation.
In addition to having a general feeling of unease, worry and/or anger when it comes to your left arm, you may experience symptoms such as:
Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hands. You might feel like something is missing from them. Sometimes this tingling sensation occurs without any warning.
Other times it happens suddenly and lasts for hours. This could be due to nerve damage or muscle spasms resulting from an injury.
Muscle pain. Your left arm (and sometimes other parts of your body) may feel sore. This pain can be sharp or dull and is often felt only in certain parts of your body, such as your back, neck or legs.
Muscle weakness. It’s common to experience a loss of strength in your left arm (and sometimes other parts of your body). You might have a hard time picking things up or rising from a chair if this condition persists.
Worsening of your symptoms. Sometimes a slight pain or tingling in your left arm worsens. It can become so intense that you have a hard time doing the simplest of movements.
This can be very frightening and make you worry about what’s happening to your left arm (and other parts of your body).
These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. They can be caused by a number of different conditions, such as:
Arthritis. This term refers to a number of conditions that cause pain and swelling in your joints. Arthritis usually causes stiffness and a loss of mobility in the affected area.
But there are types of arthritis that can cause sudden muscle spasms and weakness.
Muscle strain. If you do a lot of heavy lifting, your muscles can become overworked or torn. This is known as a muscle strain.
The affected muscle may be painful, weak or feel tight or sore. In some cases it can cause numbness in the skin around the muscle or in the organ that the muscle helps to move, such as the forearm or eyelid.
Nerve or spinal cord conditions. Various conditions can cause your spinal cord or nerves to become irritated or damaged. This can lead to a loss of feeling and strength in certain parts of your body.
Sometimes there are warning signs, such as tingling or pain. In other cases the symptoms are sudden and unexpected. These conditions can result in partial or complete loss of movement or feeling in your left arm (and other parts of your body).
Heart attack. Sometimes a heart attack can cause temporary paralysis in the parts of the body that the blood cannot reach. This happens because the heart is no longer pumping blood to those areas.
The paralysis is only temporary if the heart attack is cured within a few hours. However, in some cases the paralysis is permanent.
If you notice any new weakness, tingling or loss of movement in your body, seek immediate medical attention.
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