Just like pain in right arm or left arm, arm numbness, particularly numbness in left arm is also a common complaint among adults. One can easily neglect this problem because even a healthy person can experience it. Numbness frequently occurs when there is a lack of blood supply to a particular part of the body. In the case of numbness in the arms, this normally happens after sleeping in an awkward position where the arm has a restricted blood flow. Oftentimes, I experience this problem when I sleep on my side with my arm tucked under my head. Other people may also have different sleeping positions that cause problems.
Though very common, left arm numbness should not be taken for granted as it may also indicate a serious health problem. Some of them may require more than just home remedies but medical attention:
The brachial plexus is composed of a network of nerves responsible for sending signals coming from the spine to the arms. If any of the nerves gets overstretched or torn, it could result to numbness in the arm.
- Ganglion Cysts
Ganglion cysts are noncancerous growths that are normally found on the hands and wrists. They can develop suddenly or gradually over a period of time. This type of cyst does not normally manifest any symptoms and does not also require treatment. However, sometimes, it can cause numbness in the arms and affect normal movement of the joint. It is when these cysts are normally removed through surgery.
- Nerve Compression or Damage
Nerve compression is perhaps one of the top reasons for left arm numbness. It happens when the nerve in the left arm that runs from the central nervous system gets compressed, which in turn interrupts blood circulation causing numbness. Aside from compression, nerve damage may cause arm numbness especially if the person is suffering from diabetes, infection, metabolic problems, injuries, or is exposed to toxins.
Symptoms of stroke may vary from person to person. Aside from chest pain, other symptoms of stroke may also show up such as left arm numbness. This happens due to an interrupted supply of blood to the brain which in turn affects the blood circulation in the arms and other parts of the body. Stroke is an emergency situation that requires immediate attention by a doctor.
Numbness in the arms can also be due to fractures in the shoulder, fingers, collar bones, elbow or arm. This type of numbness usually comes with sharp pain and tingling sensation in the fractured area. An x-ray of the arm can help determine the fractured part as well as the extent of the fracture.
Aside from those listed above, other possible causes of numbness in the left arm are Raynaud’s Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, Arteriosclerosis and Vitamin B deficiency.
If you have doubts that your arm numbness is caused by conditions other than an awkward position in sleeping, it is best to see your doctor as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause.