Even if a person is considered to be generally healthy, it is normal to feel numbness in left arm, right arm or both arms sometimes, which usually occurs after waking up. Numbness is a loss of sensation which is more often accompanied by a tingling, burning or pins-and-needles sensation. While still numb, the affected arm may feel weak or clumsy.
Just like pain in right arm or left arm, arm numbness does not automatically mean that you are suffering from a serious health condition. When a person experiences numbness after waking up, it is usually caused by sleeping in a funny angle where blood circulation to the affected arm is cut off. Without blood circulation, the nerves will also be compressed, cutting off all the sensations.
However, if arm numbness is frequent and does not easily go away, it should not be ignored as it can be an indication of a more serious health problem. This should be a major concern if a person is engaged in sports like in the case of track runners. Track running is an athletic sport which includes sprints, hurdling, and long distance events where the stamina of athletes will be tested. A person suffering from any type of health problem including arm problems may not be able to endure the physical demands in the sport.
Runner or not, recurring arm numbness that comes with other symptoms should be checked by a medical practitioner as it can be caused by any of the following underlying conditions:
- Arm fracture – this condition is likely to be the cause of numbness if the associated symptoms include tingling sensation and sharp pain in the shoulder blade, collarbone, arm or fingers. A recent accident should explain your condition.
- Pulled muscles – a pulled muscle happens when a person frequently lifts heavy objects. If no accident is involved and the person experiences the symptoms of arm fracture, it can be a case of pulled muscles as both conditions manifest the same symptoms.
- Nerve damage – any damage in the nerves located in the shoulder, spine, neck and arms may also result in arm numbness. Nerve damage to any of these parts of the body results to interruption of blood circulation in the arm, causing the arm to feel numb.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – if the numbness occurs close to the arm joint and wrists, its possible cause can be carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition which involves inflammation and swelling of the ligaments. More often, the numbness is accompanied by a tingling sensation in the fingers and sharp pain around the joint.
- Raynaud’s Syndrome – sufferers of this condition also experience numbness in arms which usually originates in the fingers, working its way up. The numbness may come with shivering, skin discoloration and cold digits.
- Vitamin Deficiency – deficiency in vitamin B may also result to numbness in the arm without other symptoms associated with certain conditions.
- Heart attack or stroke – if numbness in the arms comes with numbness in the shoulder and severe chest pain, it could be a sign of heart attack. Similar symptoms can also be a sign of stroke.
- Other conditions – other conditions which can contribute to arm numbness include exposure to toxins and diabetic neuropathy.
Any symptoms that come with numbness in the arm should not be neglected. Seeking medical attention is important for diagnosis and treatment.