Left Hand Pain: The moment you experience pain in the left hand, you will start worrying about left-hand pain reason – for instance, you would ask yourself – Is it left-hand nerve pain or something else. Sometimes you may also feel pain in left-hand fingers. Owing to your pain you will wonder which Doctor to Consult for Left Hand Pain Relief and Treatment?
Let us understand the reason for pain in the left hand
Small bouts of pain and aches are usual processes of life and the normal part of the aging process. Even insignificant pain in the left arm is also not worrisome. However, a sudden, intense and significant pain in the left arm along with other potential signs and symptoms like pain in jaw, neck and shoulder should be taken on a very serious note.
Left-arm pain can potentially be a sign of an injury that needs treating or, in the worst case, the effect of a heart attack.
What is important here is your awareness of the potential causes of left arm pain and the characteristics of left arm pain along with other associated symptoms. Your awareness can make you recognize how is your body reacting to the pain and when should you seek medical help.
Left-hand pain causes
What causes left-hand pain – Is it anxiety, muscle injury, muscle spasm, angina, left-hand shoulder pain radiating to arm and hand or heart attack?
The following information helps us understand the Left arm and hand pain causes:
Can anxiety cause left arm pain?
Anxiety can also cause left arm pain: In some cases, when you feel pain in your left arm, then anxiety could be the cause. When you become anxious, your muscles become tensed and the tension in the muscles of your arm can lead to pain. But the question here is whether tension in the muscles related to anxiety is the only cause of left arm pain – but the answer is straight no because your left arm pain could be due to other possible causes including muscle injury, muscle spasm, angina and heart attacks.
Anxiety can also aggravate the sensation or feeling of pain
Anxiety can itself cause pain or aggravate pain – both ways are possible. For instance, if you have another problem due to which you are experiencing pain – anxiety can worsen that pain. People who are very anxious seem to be very sensitive even to very insignificant pain – particularly when the origin of the pain is seemingly unknown.
If you worry that your pain could be the potential sign of any serious health issue, then you will become excessively worried – owing to which your pain seems to get worse.
However, left arm pain should never be assumed as a typical and standalone sign of anxiety disorder, but rather a part of a more serious health issue.
Heart Attack can also cause Left arm pain
The onset of a heart attack is often accompanied by a sudden arm pain which gets progressively intense and severe over a period of a few minutes.
Left-arm pain is in fact the most common and one of the prominent symptoms of heart attack along with the below-mentioned symptoms. The reason for this is the fact that the nerves that are coming from the heart and those branching from the left arm send signals to same brain cells – owing to which, the brain cells cannot separate the source of pain.
This phenomenon called referred pain
For this reason, many of those who experience a heart attack might first feel arm pain without feeling chest pain.
Therefore, cardiologists all over the world advise seeking immediate emergency cardiac care if sudden arm pain gets worse over a few minutes of time.
Intense and severe, pressurizing chest pain is the typical sign of heart attack – which could radiate to neck, jaw, breast bone and stomach and even to back. Women often have a feeling of tummy upset, indigestion, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting sensation. The warning signs of a heart attack in women differ from men.
The other prominent signs of a heart attack include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or fatigue (extreme weakness)
- Neck, back, or stomach pain
- The sudden burst of cold sweat
A heart attack or silent heart attack can also be life-threatening if you ignore the above warning signs and symptoms – in addition to experiencing left arm pain along with the above symptoms. Anyway, seek medical emergency care if you experience any of the above warning signs and symptoms of heart attack along with left arm pain.
Your heart needs a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients rich blood to work efficiently, but when you develop angina, your heart will not get enough blood supply and oxygen. Angina is a sign of coronary artery disease and it must be taken as seriously. Angina can cause left arm pain in association with pain in the jaw, neck, shoulder and chest. The other symptom of angina can be a feeling of stomach upset and indigestion.
Talk with your doctor about your left arm pain and other symptoms to get a proper diagnosis of angina.
What are the other causes of left-hand pain? How do you reduce this pain? Which doctor to consult for left-hand pain due to other causes and What is its treatment?
Left-arm pain could also be due to injury to the bone, muscles, tissues of the shoulder, arm or elbow. This type of pain could probably be not due to a heart attack or any other heart issues or diseases. Left-arm pain due to skeletomuscular injuries can be differentiated in the following ways:
- Stabbing pain which may last for only a few seconds or maybe for a minute, but comes in bouts.
- Movement of hand, arm, shoulder or elbow causes pain
- Pain can be felt with touch
- The pain can be confined to a small area of the arm
- The discomfort persists without other symptoms for hours or days.
Common skeletomuscular conditions: Bone, muscle or tissue injury can be a cause of your left arm pain. Possible injuries can include:
- Shoulder bone left arm bone or elbow bone fracture.
- An undetected broken bone can also be the cause of arm pain
- Tendonitis or tendon inflammation: A connective tissue is present between the bone and muscles. The inflammation of this tissue is known as tendonitis. This condition develops very often in players and athletes due to overuse of joints. Musicians, swimmers and tennis players often develop this condition.
Tendonitis in the shoulder or elbow could be the source of left arm pain.
- Rotator cuff tear
- A herniated disk, or a tear in one of the cushioning disks between the bones of your spine
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Bursitis – Inflammation of the soft tissue and the bone – Left arm pain may be a symptom of shoulder bursitis, which usually results from overusing this joint.
- Trauma or infection of the bursa can also be the possible cause of left arm pain.
Left-arm pain can be due to several causes as we have seen so far. However, even if you have a very good knowledge and understanding of the possible causes of left arm pain – it could be difficult for you to understand whether your left arm pain may be due to musculoskeletal conditions or heart attack. Some of the risk factors for both the conditions – skeletomuscular conditions and heart attack – including your age, activity level and physical activities do overlap. Owing to these reasons, you should never try to self-diagnose heart attack or injury to rule out the cause of your left arm pain without any medical supervision. If you are still wondering as to which doctor to consult for left-hand pain, the best bet would be to see a cardiologist as early as possible.