Unusual Upper-Left Pain

What Causes Upper-Left Arm, Chest Or Neck Pain?

Upper-left arm, chest or neck pain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose upper-left arm, chest or neck pain, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "upper-left arm, chest or neck pain" as a symptom.  Here are six possibilities:
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Costochronditis
  • Angina
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Heart Disease

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
high air pollution exposure
severe leg cramps caused by walking
male pattern hair loss
chest wall pain
history of angina
severe fatigue after slight exertion
high hydrogenated fat consumption
long-term sleep surplus
apple-shaped body when overweight
heart attack(s) in mother
small social support group size
having excess body fat
... and more than 50 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of upper-left arm, chest or neck pain:
Cause Probability Status
Arrhythmias 94% Confirm
Costochronditis 61% Possible
Heart Disease 30% Unlikely
Atherosclerosis 0% Ruled out
Mitral Valve Prolapse 0% Ruled out
Angina 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Cardiovascular Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about unusual upper-left pain:
Do you suffer from occasional and unusual pain that is in your chest, upper left arm, or left side of neck?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Occasionally / moderate
→ Often / severe
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate pain in chest or left side, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

In cases of heart disease, pain will usually be felt in the left or middle of the chest, but it can also be felt in the inner sides of the left arm, neck, jaw, or between the shoulder blades.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
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