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Tingling in Left Arm

Tingling in left arm can be a momentary annoyance or an early forewarning of a more serious medical condition. It usually occurs when the nerves along the left arm do not function well. It could also be the result of nerve disorders, musculoskeletal conditions or side effects of certain medications. Affected individuals describe the sensation as burning or prickling, as if pins and needles are being run along the arm.

One should not underestimate a tingling sensation on the left arm especially if it is accompanied by confusion, blurred vision, dizziness and loss of consciousness. If such is the case, it is usually indicative of a more serious problem that requires immediate medical attention. Conservative treatment could be enough to resolve minor underlying causes. But further medical evaluation is usually done for tingling sensations related to certain medical disorders in order to plan a  more appropriate treatment method.

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Causes of tingling in left arm

It is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of tingling sensation in the left arm because a lot of factors could bring forth the condition. This sensation is medically referred to as paresthesia, or arm paresthesia if it affects the arm. In general, tingling on the left arm is usually the result of abnormal nerve functions in the left arm which could be due to:

  • Poor blood circulation

Poor blood circulation in the left arm strains the blood vessels or nerves running through it causing it function improperly. This could be a result of wearing tight outfits or jewelry on the left arm and sleeping in an awkward position that prevents good blood circulation to the left arm.

  • Medication side effects

Some medications are harmful to the body’s sensory nerves and damage them, eventually leading to tingling sensations. Among these medications are cancer drugs, some antibiotics as well as medications for HIV, hypertension and heart disease.

Medical conditions that cause tingling sensation in the left arm

Certain medical conditions cause tingling in left arm, and some of these are:

  • Heart attack or myocardial infraction

Heart attack occurs due to the impaired blood flow to the heart. This causes the tissues to die due to the lack of oxygen. Sufferers will feel  tingling sensations on the jaw, shoulder, back, teeth, and the left arm, as well as squeezing chest pain, fainting and heavy sweating.

  • Stroke

Stroke is similar to heart attack that occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is impaired. This causes the brain to stop working because the tissues and cells are slowly dying due to insufficient oxygen.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CPS)

CPS occurs as a result of the compressed median nerve on the left wrist. This causes tingling sensations not only on the left arm but on the hand and wrist as well.

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

This is a musculoskeletal condition in which there is a compression of either the blood vessels or nerves on the thoracic outlet or the small opening between the collar bone and the rib cage.

  • Spinal problems

This could come in the form of bulging or dislocated disc, or much worse, spinal disorders which damage the nerves along the left arm and cause tingling and numbing sensations to occur.

It would be best to have a doctor check any tingling in left arm to determine the underlying cause and start the suitable treatment course.

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