What are the causes of pain in left arm?

Updated February 21, 2017

Causes of pain in left arm are many. The most ominous cause is cardiac related. A heart attack may begin with chest pain that radiates to the left arm. Other causes can include injury, muscle pain, arthritis of overuse.

Time Frame

As soon as the individual experiences left arm pain, he should notify his doctor immediately. Pain in the left arm can indicate a heart problem and with fast medical intervention, complications can be minimised.


Identifying causes of pain in the left arm can be done by physical examination, x-rays, blood tests and evaluation of the patient's description of the pain.


Solutions to causes of pain in the left arm include early intervention and treatment of the underlying causes. Anti inflammatory medication and other pain relievers are usually effective in treating arm pain. If the cause is heart related, treatment may involve medication, healthy diet, exercise, and perhaps surgical intervention.


The individual must consider that not all causes of pain in the left arm are related to a heart attack. Although a cardiac cause may be the reason for the pain, unless the pain radiates from the left chest area to the left arm, chances are it is not related to his heart.


Although most of the time causes of pain in the left arm are not caused by a heart attack, anytime an individual experiences this type of pain, he should immediately get medical attention. Early treatment is important in the diagnosis and treatment of these causes.

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About the Author

Meadow Milano has been a registered nurse for over 20 years, with extensive experience in emergency nursing, labor and delivery and general medicine. She has written numerous articles for nursing publications pertaining to health and medicine, and enjoys teaching in the clinical setting.