Q. I feel tightness and discomfort in left wrist and arm. What could cause this?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 05, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 29, 2020

Hello doctor,

I feel tight inside my wrist and discomfort along my left arm. On observing the palms of my hands, I can see red parts with blood and other white parts without blood. I would like to know if there is a circulation disorder.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Firstly, it is not a circulation disorder. This is due to normal variation in the density of blood capillaries and thickness of the skin. The circulation disorder would manifest as episodes of pain, burning, and paleness followed by flushing. This is not suggestive of circulation disorder and not worrisome.

Now regarding wrist tightness and arm pain, there are multiple causes for this. The commonest cause is overuse or trauma to the wrist, which may cause tendons to pain. Another cause is nerve getting pinched called as carpal tunnel syndrome. Now just see whether this tightness worsens or pain arises in the palm whenever you bend your wrist in one or other direction. This may indicate nerve pinching. Now to ascertain the exact cause you will need examination.

Another common cause for arm pain is cervical spondylosis, in which nerves may get pinched while they exit the spine leading to pain or numbness in the various areas over the arm which they supply. So cervical x-ray would help to confirm the cause. This may be associated with neck pain and neck stiffness.

I guess you do not have any associated chest pain or chest discomfort on exertion. This is to rule out the possibility of cardiac cause which is unlikely with isolated continuous left arm pain.

I hope this helps.

Thank you doctor,

I also have a sense of constriction between the left arm and the chest identical to the wrist. I thought it was a problem of the nerves but I have pain in the arms increases when I take drugs for the circulation or Flavonoid supplements.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

No, it is unlikely to be related to circulation issues. Also, your pain is not characteristics of circulation related pain. Pain related to nerves may also be aggravated by these medications. Medications meant for circulation will not worsen the circulatory pain. So, the first possibility is of nerves related to pain. You may check your BP in the left arm, if it is lower than right arm (upto 10 to 15 mmHg difference is normal) then may consider blockages in the arteries supplying the arm.

Another cause for medications related to pain is gastritis and reflux caused by medications. Acid reflux can also cause left arm pain in some individuals.

Now, if chest pain was related to the heart, then it is expected to worsen with exertion like walking or heavy activities and relieves with rest. It is unlikely to persist continuously.

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