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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 33811
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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I am 46, female, non smoker and in reasonable health. I have

Resolved Question:

I am 46, female, non smoker and in reasonable health.
I have been experiencing heavy/dead sensation in my left arm when I am in stressful situations, I have noticed this for a few years but it is now getting more frequent, do I need to see a doctor.
many thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Hi--can you tell me more about the sensation please and how long does it last?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it feels like heavy and dead sometimes a little tingly but not full pins and needles, the time it lasts varies, the last time it happened it lasted most of the day

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK Anita--heavy as in weak? How much of the arm/hand is involved with the pins and needles? The left arm is the only part of your body that ever experiences this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

heavy as in a numb feeling, not weak its a little like when you have laid on a part of your body and it goes dead but not as extreme, its the whole arm and hand but more noticeable in my forearm and hand, yes it is only ever in my left arm.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK Anita. Most likely this is a problem with a disk in your cervical spine as in one that's herniated or ruptured and is pressing on a nerve root. This can happen even if you have absolutely no problem with your neck itself. The other possibility would be something called thoracic outlet syndrome where there's a compression of the brachial plexus group of nerves in the area of your arm pit. I would suggest you get this checked out with an MRI scan of the neck and chest along with nerve conduction studies of the arm to better define which nerve root or group of nerves that are being compressed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand what you are saying but why does this only occur after I have had an argument or am feeling very stressed, I am worried that high stress coupled with left arm sensation points to a heart problem?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Well, let me ask--when this happens is there any actual chest pain, nausea, sweating--anything besides the left arm sensation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no none of them, just the strange sensation that only comes when I'm upset or stressed.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK Anita. This really doesn't sound heart related for a few reasons. The fact that it lasts so long when it comes on and that you don't have any of the other symptoms doesn't sound at all cardiac. Also, since it's been going on for years isn't like what angina or an impending heart attack would do--that would have gotten worse long ago. I would consider this just anxiety related but it only involves the left arm which isn't like that since with anxiety it's more symmetrical--tingling in both hands and possibly feet, and anxiety also wouldn't likely cause symptoms for a full day. Stress can cause muscle spasms in the neck and if you had a disk problem that would make it announce itself with your symptoms. Bot***** *****ne here is it's time to see a doctor to evaluate this
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