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
  • Angina
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Costochronditis
  • 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:
dizziness when standing up
acute abdominal pain
heart attack(s) in mother
having excess body fat
sleeping less than necessary
occasional chest tightness
heaviness of the legs
high air pollution exposure
fatigue after slight exertion
undigested fat in stools
history of atherosclerosis
... 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
Mitral Valve Prolapse 90% Confirm
Costochronditis 60% Possible
Arrhythmias 22% Unlikely
Angina 2% Ruled out
Atherosclerosis 2% Ruled out
Heart Disease 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
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
Review (optional)
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