What causes sharp left arm pain?

There are various conditions that can instigate sharp left arm pain. Any tissues that comprise the left arm including the tendons, muscles, nerves, ligaments, bones and blood vessels can cause left arm pain. Even the structures outside the arm such as the tissues in the neck, shoulder and chest can also trigger arm pain. Constant use of the arm, certain health conditions and trauma are the usual causes of sharp left arm pain.

Radial head fracture

When an individual sustained a radial head fracture, it can trigger sharp left arm pain. This type of fracture is considered as a common injury and prevalent among women than men. Most cases of radial head fractures occur among individuals between the ages of 30-40 years old.

Left arm pain

A common cause of radial head fracture is attempting to break a fall using an extended hand.

A common cause of radial head fracture is attempting to break a fall using an extended hand. During impact, the force of the fall traverses up to the wrist to the elbow, resulting to the dislocation of the elbow. The common signs and symptoms linked with radial head fractures include the following:

  • Piercing pain in the outside of the elbow
  • Diminished range of motion in the elbow
  • Swelling in the affected elbow joint
  • Inability to turn the palm up or down

Postherpetic neuralgia

Postherpetic neuralgia can instigate sharp left arm pain. This is a painful condition that involves the nerves and the skin. The symptoms are often severe enough to affect the appetite and sleeping patterns of the individual.

This condition occurs after an episode of shingles which is a sore condition caused by the chickenpox virus. Shingles is characterized by rash and blisters in one part of the body. When it comes to postherpetic neuralgia, it causes pain that lingers after the shingles-related rash and blisters vanish. Many individuals who end up with postherpetic neuralgia are older than 65 years old. The common symptoms include the following:

  • Pain in the affected region that is piercing, deep, burning or aching
  • Itchiness and numbness
  • Hypersensitivity to light touch
  • Weakness of the muscles
  • Paralysis

Myocardial infarction

Myocardial infarction or heart attack can instigate sharp left arm pain. This occurs once the coronary blood vessels are obstructed. The insufficient flow of blood to the heart can lead to lasting damage to the part of the heart muscle along with other symptoms.

The usual signs and symptoms linked with myocardial infarction include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Sharp pain in the arms, shoulder, jaw, neck, back or abdomen
  • Anxiety of feeling of impending doom
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shortness of breath

The potential risk factors for myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease include high blood pressure, smoking, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and male older than 65 years old.

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