Left arm pain: 6 main causes (and what to do)


There are several causes that can cause pain in the left arm, which are usually easy to treat. However, in some cases, left arm pain can be a sign of a serious problem and can be a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or fracture, so it is important to pay attention to other symptoms that may appear simultaneously.

The most common causes of arm pain are:

1. Infarction

Acute myocardial infarction, also known as heart attack, consists of an interruption in the flow of blood to the heart, causing the death of cardiac cells in this region, which generates chest pain that radiates to the arm, a very characteristic symptom of the heart attack.

This chest and arm pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as dizziness, malaise, nausea, cold sweat or paleness.

What to do: In the presence of some of these symptoms, you should look for a hospital or call 192 to call the SAMU, especially in cases of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol. Know what the treatment consists of.

2. Angina

Angina is characterized by a feeling of heaviness, pain or tightness in the chest, which can radiate to the arm, shoulder or neck and is caused by a decrease in blood flow through the arteries that carry oxygen to the heart. Angina is usually triggered by exertion or moments of great emotion.

What to do: Treatment depends on the type of angina the person has, and may include anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs, vasodilators or beta-blockers, for example.

3. Bursitis in the shoulder

Bursitis is an inflammation of the synovial bursa, which is a kind of cushion that is located inside a joint, whose function is to prevent friction between the tendon and the bone. Thus, inflammation of this structure can cause symptoms such as pain in the shoulder and arm, difficulty lifting the arm above the head, weakness in the muscles in the region and a local tingling sensation that radiates to the arm.

What to do: The treatment of bursitis can be done with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, rest and physiotherapy sessions. Learn more about the pharmacological treatment of bursitis.

4. Fracture

Fractures in the arms, forearms and collarbone are the most common and can cause very intense pain in the region. In addition, other symptoms that may occur are swelling and deformity of the site, inability to move the arm, presence of bruising and numbness and tingling in the arm.

In addition, injuries or blows to the arm can also cause pain in the area for a few days, even if no fracture occurs.

What to do: If a fracture occurs, the person must urgently go to the doctor to be evaluated, with the help of an X-ray. Treatment can be done with the use of limb immobilization, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs and, later, physiotherapy.

5. Herniated disc

Disc hernia consists of the bulging of the intervertebral disc which, depending on the region of the spine where it occurs, can generate symptoms such as back pain that radiates to the arms and neck, a feeling of weakness or tingling in one of the arms and difficulty moving the neck. or raise your arms.

What to do: Generally, the treatment of herniated discs consists of the use of analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy and osteopathy sessions and exercises such as RPG, hydrotherapy or Pilates.

6. Tendonitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons that can be caused by repetitive strain. Tendonitis in the shoulder, elbow or arm can generate symptoms such as pain in the region that can radiate to the arm, difficulty in performing arm movements, weakness in the arm and a feeling of hooks or cramps in the shoulder.

What to do: Treatment can be done with analgesics and anti-inflammatories and with the application of ice, however, it is also important to identify and suspend the activity that led to the emergence of the problem. Learn more about treatment.

In addition to these causes, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome can also cause arm pain.

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