Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the US, and about 18.1% of the population experience an anxiety disorder every year. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders can manifest themselves physically and often in the form of left-arm anxiety pain.
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Can Anxiety Cause Pain in the Left Arm?
Yes, anxiety can cause pain in the left arm. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America notes that anxiety patients can experience chronic pain coming from headaches, muscle tension, and soreness. Left-arm anxiety is one such result. Besides, people with preexisting conditions like arthritis will find it hard to manage their pain if they experience anxiety or panic attacks. Left-arm anxiety can happen in the following ways:
- Muscle Tension: Anxiety and panic attacks can cause tension in muscles, in the neck, arms, shoulders, and back. This pressure can cause varying levels of pain. The pain could happen in any area, but it is often limited around the arm region.
- Hyperventilation: Often, people with anxiety and panic attacks will experience hyperventilation which causes pain in the chest and arm area. Hyperventilation constricts the blood vessels, which causes sharp pains, especially in the left arm. At times such left arm anxiety can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack, making it crucial for you to see a health professional rule out the risk of a heart attack.
- Overcompensation: Anxiety attacks can sometimes cause someone to alter their lifestyle based on how their attacks make them feel. One could change their lifestyle and even physical aspect, including limb movements, sleeping, and sitting positions. These new behaviors could result in arm pain.
- Oversensitivity: Often, there are different instances where one has arm pain, often for a short period, and it goes on its own. However, those with panic and anxiety attacks are oversensitive to such natural and short-lived pain, and they think it is abnormal or worse than it is.
- Psychosomatic: In other instances, one of the effects of anxiety and panic attacks is experiencing left arm pain when there is no pain at all. Your mind creates that pain through your thoughts, and the more you think about it, the more you experience the false pain.
Left-Arm Pain Anxiety Treatment
Left-arm pain anxiety treatment focuses on your mental issues and managing the physical pain wherever possible. The focus is on treating anxiety disorders so that an individual can manage the triggers better. Therefore, psychotherapy is used as it helps the patient understand what causes the anxiety and develops better methods of coping. With proper coping techniques, patients will not suffer from its left arm pain anxiety effect. The main psychotherapy approaches doctors use are:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): It involves identifying the beliefs and thoughts that make someone anxious and learning the exercises and techniques to change the harmful thought patterns.
- Psychoanalysis: This treatment involves establishing the unconscious stimulus behind a patient’s behaviors and thoughts.
Other treatment options include anti-anxiety medication and lifestyle changes to cope with stress. Such changes include meditations, good nutrition, exercise, and sufficient sleep. Where the left arm pain anxiety results from muscle tension, the healthcare provider will recommend measures to help provide relief in the short term. These include:
- Stretching exercises
- Use of gradual muscle relaxation techniques
- Warm baths
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What Is a Dull Pain in the Left Arm that Comes and Goes?
If you are experiencing a dull pain in the left arm that comes and goes, the main causes are:
- Rotator cuff muscles
- Pinched nerve
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Heart attack
Other Causes of Arm Pain
There are other causes of general arm pain, and it will require a doctor’s diagnosis to determine the exact cause in your case to apply the right treatment. These other causes include:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Muscle aches from overuse or exercise
Home Remedies for Left Arm Pain
You can manage some of the pain at home using home remedies. Some of the recommended practices are:
- Take a rest from normal daily activities to allow your arm to relax.
- Place an ice pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day.
- Tie a compression bandage to manage the swelling.
- Where possible, keep the arm elevated to manage pressure.
- Have physical therapy.
- Use warm baths.
When Should I Worry about Left Arm Pain?
- When the pain does not go away even after using various home remedies
- The area starts getting swollen, and there is visible redness
- Your pain is anxiety-induced
- You have trouble moving the left arm normally
- If the pain becomes regular
- If other symptoms accompany the pain
When to Call 911?
In other circumstances, it is necessary to seek immediate emergency services. Call 911 in case of the following:
- The arm pain is sudden and severe.
- You suspect/ or you are at risk of a heart attack.
- The arm pain is accompanied by pressure or squeezing in your chest.
- The pain is caused by a sudden injury to your arm, especially if there is a cracking or snapping sound.
- There is bleeding or severe swelling.
- You cannot move the arm.
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Anxiety disorder can be crippling, including making you experience left arm anxiety that leaves you without full use of one arm. At Mango Clinic, we understand just how disruptive anxiety can be to your life, and we have the right resources to help you. Do not suffer alone, contact us today or click the banner below to book your appointment, and let’s help you get better.