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What can cause numbness in my left arm?

By HERWriter July 30, 2014 - 6:58pm
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My shoulder (collarbone area) is in pain and my left arm is a little numb. I am in my mid twenties, but have a history of heart problems (genetic only, not lifestyle). Should I be concerned about a heart attack? I have been under a lot of stress lately, could this just be a symptom of stress?

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Hi Jenny!

Oh my goodness!  You may have broken your collar bone?? That must be really painful!  Do you know what you did to injure it? Are you taking any anti-inflammatory medication or pain medication to help relieve the pain? You can always call your doctor and see what they recommend in the meantime before your appointment. He or she can suggest hot/cold packs and some over the counter meds in the meantime. 

Please let me know how you are doing!


August 1, 2014 - 1:07pm

Hi Jenny Housh! 

Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community! 

I am sorry to hear that you are under a lot of stress lately! You could be feeling some numbness in your left arm for many different reasons. Most likely the culprit is that you are not getting enough blood supply to your extremities. Other explanations could be nerve damage or a pulled muscle, which could explain the pain in your shoulder. It could also be the sign of something more serious and therefore I don't think it should be ignored. 

You are really young and it sounds like you lead a healthy lifestyle and heart attacks aren't as common at your age. However, since you explained that you have a history of heart problems, I would definitely seek your doctor's expert opinion. From the research that I did, typically stress isn't the cause of what you are feeling. 

Here is a link form the EmpowHER community about signs of a heart attack.


Jenny Housh, are you able to schedule an appointment with your doctor fairly soon? I don't think you should put these symptoms on the back burner. Let me know.



July 31, 2014 - 12:22pm
HERWriter (reply to kristincaliendo)

Hi Kristin,

Thank you for responding. My shoulder feels a little better today and my arm is a little less numb. I have scheduled an appointment with a doc - but will go to the emergency room if anything changes. 

I am also starting to think that I maybe have broken my collarbone - which may be the cause of my shoulder pain. I'll keep you updated. 

July 31, 2014 - 6:32pm
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