8 Possible Causes of Tingling/Numbness in Your Left Arm

8 Possible Causes of Tingling/Numbness in Your Left Arm
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Tingling hands, often referred to as the pins and needles effect, is a common occurrence and is typically not caused by a serious condition. It is most often brought on by pressure being applied to nerves in your arm when you lean on it. This can occur when you fall asleep and lay your head on your arm. The tingling feeling usually goes away when the pressure is relieved.

However, sometimes pins and needles can be caused by something more severe and can become chronic. When this is the case, the tingling feeling can be accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, pain and itching. This can be an indication of nerve damage caused by a wide range of ailments.

Causes of Pins and Needles in Left Arm

1. Poor Blood Circulation or Pressure

Improper blood circulation can happen when you sleep in awkward position and blood cannot flow properly through it. It can also occur when you are wearing a tight piece of jewelry like an arm band.

Tingling in the left arm can also occur when there is too much pressure applied to it. If it is intense enough, it may even go numb. If you have a pinched nerve in the area around your arm, you may experience tingling in your hands.

2. Vitamin Issues

Several vitamins are vital to proper nerve function, especially vitamins B1, B6, B12, and E. If you have too much vitamin B6 in your body, you can experience pins and needles in your left arm. However, if you don’t have enough B12, you may have the same tingling feeling.

3. Alcoholism

Alcoholics often suffer from vitamin deficiencies because their disease causes them to follow poor diet habits. When this occurs and it affects the nerves, it is called alcoholic neuropathy. Damaged nerves can cause tingling and numbness in your arms.

4. Medicines

Sometimes certain medications can cause nerve damage, but in many situations their benefits outweigh their side effects. The good news is the damage is reversible once you cease taking the medicine. If you experienced tingling in your hands or arms, it will typically go away.

Medications which are known to cause pins and needles in left arm are antiretrovirals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy medicines for the treatment of lymphoma and breast cancer and metronidazole, an antibiotic.

5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

When you have to consistently do a repetitive motion or work at a computer for an extended period of time, nerves in your arm may get pressed and restrict blood circulation. When this occurs, you can experience numbness, pain and tingling in your hands and arms.

6. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

When you suffer from poor posture caused by obesity, pregnancy, trauma and poor posture when sleeping, you can suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome. This condition occurs when the nerves located in the back of the neck, arms and armpits are compressed. Pins and needles in your left arm can be a symptom of the syndrome, as well as discoloration, pain and numbness.

7. Heart Attack

At any time you experience tingling in the left arm or hand and it is accompanied by pain in your chest and jaw, you should seek immediate medical attention. This could be an indication of a pending heart attack. You want to see a doctor right away to avoid complications or possible death.

8. Stroke

If you have pins and needles in left arm, it can also be a sign of a stroke. This is a very serious condition caused by a low blood supply to the brain, causing it to essentially shut down. Again, immediate medical attention is vital in this case.

Exercises That May Help

1. Acupressure

8 Possible Causes of Tingling/Numbness in Your Left Arm

Acupressure is a type of treatment used to increase blood circulation. Pressure is applied on specific points of your body, lessening blockage in blood vessels and relieving pain. Therapists know exactly where the pressure points are and how to eliminate pins and needles in your left arm. They can also teach you how to perform acupressure on yourself.

2. Stretching

Stretching allows oxygen to flow throughout your body so no matter what is causing your tingling, it should help. When you perform stretching exercises with your shoulders, arms and core area, blood circulation improves to your hands, arms, legs and feet.

A good exercise to try begins with you standing with your feet lined up with your shoulders. Reach as high up as you can with your arms and then slowly lower them. Repeat but this time only use your right arm. Repeat again with only your left arm. Keep doing this sequence for about 15 minutes.

3. Rotational Exercises

8 Possible Causes of Tingling/Numbness in Your Left Arm

Performing rotational exercises is a great way to get your blood flowing and increase oxygen to your extremities. If you are experiencing pins and needles in left arm, these moves might help.

Stretch your left arm out from your side. Make about 15 circular movements with your hand. Repeat the movements again but rotating in the opposite direction. Finish the exercises by flexing your shoulders, biceps and triceps, completing three sets of 15-20 repetitions.

When to Worry

As mentioned before, occasional pins and needles is perfectly normal. These occurrences are typically temporary and will disappear own their own. Although commonly caused by too much pressure on the nerves, more serious conditions can cause the same aliment.

You should seek the advice of your doctor if the tingling feeling keeps returning. If the condition does not resolve itself, it may be a sign of a more serious condition. If any of the following accompanies the pins and needles sensation, seek immediate mediation attention:

  • Weakness, loss of consciousness, blurriness or confusion
  • Tingling feelings begins after a neck, back or head injury
  • Pins and needles start after a fall
  • Loss of control of bowel movements or other body parts
  • Movement of arm or walking makes tingling worse
  • Dizziness, increased anxiety or generally feeling of uneasiness
  • Increased urination