Left arm tingling symptoms

Tingling sensations in the left arm may not be cause for alarm; however, it is an abnormality that needs to be checked by a physician. If you experience tingling symptoms in your left arm or elsewhere on your body, it could be taken as a red flag warning that something may not be quite right. The sooner you check out the cause of the symptom, the sooner you can prevent any additional problems from occurring.


The causes of left arm tingling symptoms can range from minor problems to major abnormalities. Some of the possible causes for the tingling sensation can include:

  • A pinched nerve in the neck or shoulder that can cause numbness or tingling sensations.
  • Pressure on the spinal column caused by a herniated disk.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • The “pins and needles” feeling caused by the limb falling asleep from being in a specific position for a long time.
  • Side effects from specific medications.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Stroke.
  • Underactive thyroid.
  • Poor circulation, which could be caused by plaque build-up and could be a possible sign of heart disease.

Immediate Care

If you have a pre-existing ailment such as carpal tunnel syndrome or lower back pain, there may be certain exercises you can do to relieve your symptoms. It is extremely important that you identify the cause of the symptoms as soon as possible and have them treated by your physician. If the cause of the tingling comes from diabetes, you will be told by your doctor ways in which to adjust your diet to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Additionally, you need to discuss with your doctor possible side effects of any medication you are taking to alleviate the tingling symptoms.

Emergency Care

No one knows your body better than you. You will know the difference between an arm that has fallen asleep causing tingling sensations or a possible medical emergency. Call 911 if any of the following occurs:

If you experience the tingling sensation after hitting your head or falling on your back.

If you experience complete paralysis of your arm.

If you, at any time, lose consciousness.

If you experience slurred speech or loss of vision.

If you experience continuous dizziness or muscle spasms.

If the tingling worsens when you move your arm.

If you experience chest pains and difficulty breathing.


It will be imperative that your doctor ask specific questions to determine the cause for your left arm tingling symptoms. Since there are many causes, getting the right diagnosis is essential in treating the problem efficiently. Know your own medical history in order to help your doctor understand why you are experiencing these symptoms. Additionally, there may be a variety of tests you may need to undergo in order for your doctor to make a proper diagnosis. Describe the symptoms as specifically as possible. Know when the symptoms began and how long you have been experiencing them.


Visit your doctor even if you believe the cause of your symptoms is a minor one. Because of the multitude of causes of left arm tingling symptoms, you will want to make sure that what you are experiencing is not the start of a severe illness. Remember that the tingling symptoms are a warning sign that something is wrong with your body. Be proactive in identifying the cause in order to prevent the problem from getting worse.

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About the Author

Debbie Lamedman is a published playwright and author/editor of eight books for Smith & Kraus Publishers. Her play "Phat Girls," included in "New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2003," has been produced across the country. Lamedman holds an M.F.A. from Brandeis University and is a proud member of The Dramatist Guild. The majority of her articles for Demand Studios can be found on eHow.