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What are causes of tingling in the left arm?

Updated November 21, 2016

When experiencing tingling in your arm, whether it is your left or right arm, it could be due to paresthesia, which means that you are experiencing abnormal skin sensations, such as tingling or burning and itching. Paresthesia is generally the outcome of peripheral nerve damage.

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Neurological System

The Mayo Clinic explains that nerve damage can cause peripheral neuropathy, signalled by tingling and numbness. Nerve damage can be the result of infection, injury, exposure to toxins and metabolic problems. Diabetics often suffer from nerve damage.


Tingling in the arm can be caused by a subluxated first rib, which is referred to as a thoracic outlet syndrome. When this occurs, the nerve and artery in your neck may be pinched, causing diffuse tingling rather than tingling in one particular part of the arm, according to Chriopractic-help.com. This is described as a dermatomal pattern.


An example of dermatomal pattern is when you feel tingling in the upper arm on the side and perhaps also in the lower arm. This is called C5 dermatome and can lead to weak biceps and deltoid muscles as well as tennis elbow if not treated.

Neck Nerves

An irritated neck nerve causes your skin to become very sensitive. Eventually your arm could become numb.


The joints in your neck must move in order to remain healthy. If something happens that fixes these joints and they are no longer movable, this starves the cartilage of nutrients and oxygen and noxious waste products build up. The waste products irritate the nerve in your neck, which causes arm tingling.

Arthritis or Slipped Disc

If you have arthritis and changes occur within the forearm as a result of this condition, this can result in pain in your arm as well as tingling. Tingling in the left or right arm can also be the result of a slipped disc in your back.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.

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