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Why does left arm numbness happen? (Keyword: Left Arm Numbness)

There are many reasons of minor or severe arm numbness. Sitting and sleeping in a wrong position may restrict the blood flow or make pressure on a nerve and cause its numbness. On the other hand, the unexplainable arm numbness may indicate a medical problem like nerve damage, cervical disc hernia or cardiovascular diseases. There are also heart attack and paralysis among the reasons of arm numbness. Memorial Şişli Hospital Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Department Chair Prof. Dr. Engin Çakar has made important recommendations regarding the left arm numbness.

Reasons of left arm numbness

Many reasons can be a factor in arm numbness. One of the causes of arm numbness can be sleeping in a wrong position.

The numbness in arm in these cases is temporal. On the other hand, these are among the more serious reasons of arm numbness or tingling which necessitate medical intervention:

Heart Attack

Accompanied by pain, heart attack frequently causes pressure on chest, neck, arm, face or back. Among the other symptoms of heart attack, there are difficulty in breathing, dizziness and nausea.


When a blood vessel in brain is blocked or bleeding, the brain may not get enough oxygen. Stroke, that is, paralysis, may cause numbness in various parts of the body, including the left arm. Among the other symptoms of stroke, there are balance and speech problems, headache and perplexity.

Spinal Problems – Cervical Disc Hernia

The problems of spine like cervical disc hernia may cause the entrapment of the nerves in neck. This is known as another reason of arm numbness. Among the other symptoms of nerve entrapment in neck, neck pain, neck stiffness, muscle spasms, dizziness, muscle weakness and headache can be counted.

Nerve Problems

Nerves are known as a part of our nervous system which sends signals to rest of our body.  Damage or entrapment of nerves may cause numbness or tingling. Among the other symptoms of nerve damage, there are the feeling of tingling or burning, weakness in muscles, different reactions against touching (extra sensitivity or not feeling anything at all) can be counted. The nerve problems which may cause numbness in arm may be counted as:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome which happens as a result of the entrapment of the nerves in wrist
  • Injury of brachial plexus, which is a neural net in shoulder
  • Neuropathy which is known as neural crest inflammation as a frequently encountered disease in the person with diabetes (weakness, numbness and pain in your hands and arms)
  • Nerve entrapment, when another tissue applies pressure on the nerve.


After the traumas which happened as a result of injury, arm numbness may occur. A broken bone may entrap the nerve in the left arm and cause numbness after trauma. Besides, a burn which happened on the skin may give harm to the nerves of feeling and this also may cause numbness in arm.

Insufficient blood circulation

Some people may experience arterial and venous blood vessel problems in their body. The diseases of vascular system may cause numbness and tingling in arm. Among the symptoms of insufficient blood circulation, there is pale or bluish skin, slow or no grow in leg hair and toes, and slowly recovering wounds in the lower part of the body.

Allergic Reaction

Allergic reaction may cause numbness in a part of the body. A reaction given to a bug bite may cause numbness. Besides, the area with allergic reaction may be swelled, itchy and red.

MS Disease (Multiple Sclerosis)

Numbness or tingling in arm may be an early symptom of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS disease may cause loss of feeling in your arm if it causes nerve damage. Among the other MS symptoms, there are balance and coordination problems, dizziness, vertigo and fatigue.

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning happens when lead, as a poisonous metal, is swallowed or breathed. Lead is existent in color materials, water and other home appliances, and especially in old articles. A high level of lead poisoning may cause numbness in arms and legs in adults. Among the other symptoms of lead poisoning, there are metallic taste, cramps, vomiting, change in behavior, headache, fatigue, muscle weakness and weight loss.

How is the treatment of left arm numbness and tingling?

Treatment types of arm numbness vary according to the cause of the numbness. If the left arm numbness is not a serious situation, you may do these:

  • Apply hot or cold
  • Apply massage on the area
  • Have a rest
  • Make brief exercises

When do I need to get urgent medical support for the numb left arm?

If you feel numbness in your left arm and have one of the following symptoms, you need to consult a specialist doctor as soon as possible:

  • Perplexity, dizziness or coordination problem
  • Pale skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in chest, back, neck, face or shoulder
  • Weakness in shoulder, arm, hand or face
  • Problems in walking
  • Problems regarding balance or coordination
  • Speech disorder
  • Swelling in any part of your body, especially arms and hands
  • Problems in breathing and swallowing
  • Problems in talking and understanding in a conversation


Prepared by the Medical Editorial Board. Our health library contents have been prepared for informational purposes only and with the scientific content on the registration date. For all your questions, concerns, diagnosis or treatment about your health, please consult your doctor or health institution.


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