Q. I had tightness in upper left chest area and numbness in throat. What is it?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 11, 2018 and last reviewed on: Nov 24, 2022

Hi doctor,

Last night I started experiencing some tightness in my upper left chest area, just below my armpit. This extended up my left side through my throat, cheek and up to the top of my head. This was persistent throughout the night. This morning I woke up and it was a little better but my face and throat area feel numb and the inside of my cheek and tongue feel swollen. This tightness is starting up again today though not as bad as last night and it is mostly in my throat. I also have tinnitus and when this tightness comes my tinnitus gets much worse. My left arm also goes numb and cold from time to time, particularly my pinkie and ring fingers.

I have had a history of neck pain and I have had pain in my upper left chest and back area and my left arm numbness has been around for many years. It started after a weightlifting injury. I am wondering what this might be and if I should go to the hospital.



Welcome to

This is most likely due to cervical pain, due to compression of nerves between spine. You should get X-ray cervical spine AP (anteroposterior or lateral view) and further may need MRI.

You need to visit physiotherapist after X-ray and also an orthopedician. Till the time he can have tablet Neurobion Forte (Riboflavin, Pyridoxine, etc.) once a day which is a nerve vitamin. If this is not helpful, then you need to have tablet Pregabalin 75 mg bedtime, which is a nerve stabilizer. However, it is better to visit a hospital and get EKG done in order to rule out cardiac cause although appears to be less likely. You can also upload EKG here if you can get it done somewhere.

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