When we experience a tingling sensation in our left arm, our first immediate thought is often a sign of a heart attack.
We now know there is more to this serious event than just numbness and tingling.
The causes of this odd symptom and how it affects us is the focus of this article.
We will also examine related warnings that signal the need for medical attention, and how to treat mild cases of tingling in the left arm at home.
Referred to as paresthesia, tingling in the left arm occurs when the nerves have been compromised or blood flow has been interrupted. It is commonly explained as the feeling of pins and needles in affected area before numbness sets in. Sometimes, we say our arm is asleep with this feeling.
It can also be accompanied by a burning sensation. There are many trivial reasons for this occurrence, such as muscle spasm, fatigue, or even strenuous exercise. Sometimes, it is a cause for concern as it may indicate a serious health problem.
Tingling in the Left Arm Causes
Recognizing accompanying symptoms with tingling and numbness in the left arm will help you pinpoint the exact cause and what steps you need to take next. For example, in addition to tingling, a heart attack will also have chest pressure, numbness, back or jaw pain, and other symptoms. Let’s focus on causes of tingling in the left arm.
You may feel a tingling from poor circulation in your arm as blood flow is deterred from flowing properly. It may be caused from the position you are sitting in or if you are leaning your arm on a counter or wall. It can also happen if you are wearing tight clothing or jewelry, or if you happen to sleep on your left arm. Along with numbness and tingling, your hands may become chilled and have a clammy feeling. The circulation problem may also signal venous stasis ulcers or atherosclerosis.
Our nerves are dependent on proper nourishment as much as the rest of our body. For proper brain function and development, our nerves need sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins D and B12. Without these, we can experience numbness and the tingling feeling.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Your tingling may be due to carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS. This is from your circulation being distressed as tissue is constricted from joint pressure. This can happen with the repetitive motion of hands and wrists, or improper positioning of the joints. Additional symptoms are pain and numbness.
Due to injury or trauma of the nerves in the arm, back, or neck, you may experience tingling in the left arm. This symptom may be felt with a compressed nerve, bulging spine disk, or with ruptured vertebrae.
Tingling can signal a more serious problem with the blood vessels and their functioning with many vascular disorders. Accompanying symptoms may be numbness spreading up your left arm, as well as your fingertips turning blue. Muscle weakness is caused by your blood lacking essential nutrients.
It is important to recognize any feeling of light-headedness, speech problems, and moving the arm with the tingling sensation to determine if you are having a stroke. This occurs when your blood flow decreases between the heart and the brain. It can be caused by a blood clot, or the development of plague build-up in the arterial walls. Other medical conditions that can cause tingling in the left arm include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
How to Treat Tingling in Left Arm?
Depending on the specific cause, tingling in the left arm may be treated with medical procedures and medications, or with lifestyle changes and home remedies.
To reverse issues due to a lack of proper vitamins and minerals, you can boost your intake with supplements and proper diet choices.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Ease symptoms by avoiding improper use of the hand and wrist in repetitive motion activities. Professionals recommend performing exercises such as arm stretches and wrist rotations to alleviate pressure on the joints.
Physical therapy exercises may need to be done to help with nerve damage in the back, neck, and arm. You can improve the circulation with your diet if the trauma is caused by diabetes.
If you have tingling from an arm injury, it may be recommended by your doctor to avoid use of the left arm. Treat inflammation with a compress and elevate the arm at a level above the heart.
Effective Home Remedies for Tingling and Numbness in Left Arm
As a single tingling symptom, there are several home remedies for tingling in the left arm for immediate relief treatment.
Use a warm cloth or heating pad directly on the affected area to promote blood flow by relaxing the muscles and nerves. Apply for several minutes and repeat until tingling feeling is gone.
Improve circulation with a firm massage of the area giving the tingling sensation. You can use heated olive, coconut, or mustard oil as you massage the spot for five minutes. Continue to do this in increments until the sensation disappears.
For immediate relief, raise your left arm for several minutes. This will help to improve your circulation and reawake the affected area. You can also use pillows or books to prop your arm up.
The powerful curcumin property of turmeric is used in promoting good blood circulation n the body. Make a paste of turmeric powder and water, and apply it directly on the area of the tingling sensation. Massage for several minutes until the feeling is gone. This is an effective treatment of tingling in the left arm.
There are other daily treatments for tingling in the left arm to prevent frequent episodes.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water daily
- Limit alcohol and caffeine to avoid poor blood circulation
- Consume fruits and vegetables while avoiding processed and sugary foods
- Avoid tobacco products that can damage the nerves
- Add ginkgo biloba and cinnamon to your daily diet to promote blood circulation
- Exercise regularly by performing cardiovascular and aerobic exercises 30 minutes each day, five days a week.
When to See a Doctor
When the tingling sensations do not subside, or are accompanied by the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
- Difficulty with mobility
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Muscle weakness on one side of the body
- Loss of motor or sensory control of the arm
- Recent fall or injury to arm
The odd tingling sensation we can have in our left arm usually disappears after a few minutes of elevating the arm or shaking the hand to promote better circulation. When movement does not help, it may be time to try a few home remedies to relieve the sensation. If you have tingling in the left arm, along with symptoms affecting your mobility or cognitive functioning, you may want to seek professional medical advice. It may be a sign of an underlying health condition.
“What Causes Tingling In Left Arm?” MD-Health; http://www.md-health.com/Tingling-In-Left-Arm.html, last accessed March 9, 2017.
“Tingling In Left Arm: Causes and Treatments,” New Health Guide; http://www.newhealthguide.org/Tingling-In-Left-Arm.html, last accessed March 9, 2017.
“Home Remedies for Numbness in Hands and Feet,” Top 10 Home Remedies; http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-numbness-hands-feet.html, last accessed March 9, 2017.