There are many conditions that can cause left arm pain.Abnormalities of the skin, soft tissue, nerves, bones, joints and blood vessels can all cause pain.In order to determine if your left arm pain is related to the heart or not, there are a number of factors to consider.
Step 1: Evaluate the quality of your pain.
Most heart attack pain feels like a pressure or squeezing sensation.It can range from mildly painful, or not painful at all, to full pain that people would rank a 10 out of 10 in intensity.The pain can be felt in the chest area, as well as down your left arm, jaw, or back.
Step 2: Look for symptoms that aren’t related to pain.
There are other symptoms that you may see during a cardiac episode, such as pain in your arm, jaw, neck, and back.It is best to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms in conjunction with your pain.
Step 3: Emergency medical services are available.
If you’re in doubt about your current condition, it’s better to call the Emergency Medical Services number in your area.If you have a heart attack, remember that time is very important and not a second should be wasted because your life is at risk.As you wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive, take 2 baby aspirins as these can diminish the severity of a heart attack.aspirin works by preventing further blood clot in one of the coronary arteries that causes a heart attack, so it helps to prevent this clot from getting worse.If you have been diagnosed with GI bleeds or have an allergy to aspirin, don’t take aspirin.As you wait for the ambulance to arrive, take nitroglycerin if you have it on.When you get to the hospital, the doctors can give you additional pain medications such as morphine to help you cope with the symptoms.If you have had Viagra or Levitra in the last 48 hours, do not take nitroglycerin.It can cause a loss of blood pressure.Tell your doctor if you have taken any of these medications.
Step 4: Go for a series of exams.
If you suspect you may be having a heart attack, your doctor will perform a number of tests to confirm the diagnosis.In the case of a heart attack, you will receive an electrocardiogram to evaluate your heart’s rhythm.You will get blood tests to check for an elevation of cardiac enzymes in the blood stream which is indicative of strain on the heart.Depending on your symptoms and how clear the diagnosis is to your doctors, you may or may not receive additional diagnostic tests including: an echocardiogram, a chest x-ray, an angiogram, and/or an exercise stress test.
Step 5: You should note the duration.
It is unlikely that your left arm pain is caused by the heart.If the pain has persisted for a long time, it is not likely to be related to the heart.It may be a heart attack if it lasts for a few minutes.Take note of the duration and intensity of your pain on a piece of paper and bring it to your doctor.This could be related to the heart.Older patients are more likely to have a spine disease that causes the pain to be released or increased by movement of the thorax.This type of pain is not caused by the heart.It is most likely muscular in origin when the pain appears after a vigorous exercise with your arms.You should look at your daily patterns.What makes it worse?
Step 6: It is possible that your left arm pain is related to angina.
Angina is caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart.You may feel pain in your shoulders, chest, arms, back, or neck when you feel angina.It may be similar to the feeling of indigestion.It is possible for angina to appear only in the left arm.Angina can be worsened or provoked by physical or emotional stress.It is important to see a healthcare provider if you suspect you have angina.It is not life threatening like a heart attack, but it requires appropriate evaluation and treatment.
Step 7: You can identify other symptoms.
In addition to the pain in your left arm, take note of any other areas that are hurting.This is one of the most accurate ways to determine if your left arm pain is related to your heart or not.A heart attack is likely to include chest pain that goes down to your left arm.It can be experienced on both arms, but it is usually felt in the left arm.It is possible for the jaw to be in one side only or on both sides.It can feel like a bad tooth.The pain in the shoulders feels like it’s on top of the chest.There is pain in the chest, jaw, neck and arm.It is possible to have a heart attack without serious pain.
Step 8: Pain related to neck movement should be noted.
If your pain gets worse when you move your neck or upper back, it may be due to a disease.One of the most common causes of left arm pain is this.The majority of people older than 65 have evidence of the disease.This is a general term for age related tears in your spine.The disks shrink and dehydrate.As the back wears out, it tends to get worse.The cause of the pain can be determined by moving your neck and upper spine.It’s possible that movement increases your pain.Applying pressure on the neck or spine does not make heart attack pain worse.It is most likely that you are without other symptoms because of movement or pressure.This is still a serious condition and should be reported to your doctor.
Step 9: When you have pain in your shoulder, look for it.
It could be shoulder arthritis if the pain in your arm flares up when you move your shoulder.Many patients that come into the emergency department with the fear of having a heart attack are actually suffering from this condition.The smooth outer covering of the bone is destroyed by this disease.The protective space between the bones decreases as the cartilage disappears.The bones rub against each other, causing shoulder and left arm pain.Many treatment options are available to relieve the pain of arthritis of the shoulder.Don’t worry if this describes you.The progression can be stopped.
Step 10: Look for signs of a nerve injury.
If you lose function in your arm, it’s most likely to be a nerve injury.The brachial plexus is a bundle of arm nerves that form in the lower neck.The bundle splits, giving rise to the nerves of the arm.Arm nerve damage from the shoulder to the hand causes varying pain, but usually this is associated with a loss in arm function.It is possible that your arm pain is on the nerve level.
Step 11: Check your pulse and blood pressure.
Peripheral arterial disease may be the cause if these are affected.It is more common among smokers.To find out if this is the problem, you need to visit your doctor and get your blood pressure and heart rate checked.
Step 12: There are alternative diagnoses for arm pain.
Do you remember any recent injuries?It’s possible that your left arm pain is related to an injury.If you can’t find a reason for your arm pain, speak to your doctor.If left arm pain presents suddenly, with sweats, disorientation and other pain, see a doctor immediately and allow her to rule out life-threatening conditions.