My heart hurts and gives in my left hand

We examined the pathologies that cause pain, localized in the left half of the chest. Now we will analyze what pain each of them gives.

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It’s a dull pain

Aching pain is characteristic for:

  • angina pectoris;
  • myocarditis;
  • cardioneurosis;
  • gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer;
  • scoliosis;
  • osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine;
  • exacerbations of pancreatitis.

Stitching pain occurs when:

  • myocardial infarction;
  • pericarditis;
  • cardioneurosis;
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy;
  • neurocirculatory dystonia;
  • intercostal neuralgia;
  • pneumonia;
  • pleurisy;
  • tuberculosis;
  • shingles;
  • lung cancer or bronchus.

Pressing character

Pressing pain can be a manifestation of:

  • angina pectoris;
  • myocarditis;
  • mitral valve prolapse;
  • pericarditis;
  • a foreign body of the esophagus (in this case, the fact of swallowing some inedible object, for example, fish bone, is noted);
  • cardiomyopathy;
  • myocardial dystrophy;
  • heart tumors (e.g., myxoma);
  • poisoning with drugs, alcohol, drugs, phosphorus-organic compounds, poisons. In this case, there is the fact of taking medication, alcohol, treating plants from pests, and so on;
  • stomach ulcers at the junction with the esophagus.

The word “sharp pain” is usually used only to describe myocardial infarction. In addition to cardialgia of a similar nature, there is a general deterioration in the condition, cold sweat, fainting state, and cardiac arrhythmias. Radiation of cardialgia – in the left shoulder blade, arm.

Severe pain occurs when:

  • myocardial infarction;
  • osteochondrosis of the cervical and thoracic;
  • intercostal neuralgia, especially caused by shingles;
  • pulmonary embolism;
  • rupture of the dissecting aortic aneurysm;
  • myocarditis.

Constant pain is characteristic of osteochondrosis. There is no worsening of the condition, but “goosebumps” and numbness in the left hand, a decrease in its strength, can be noted. A similar complaint is described and pericarditis – inflammation of the outer lining of the heart – heart bag. It is also characterized by general malaise and fever.

If dull pain is felt in the area of ​​the heart, it can be:

  • anterior chest wall syndrome;
  • arterial hypertension (in this case, high blood pressure is recorded);
  • overloading of intercostal muscles, for example, with very active physical training or prolonged playing of wind instruments.

Acute pain occurs with pleurisy or pericarditis. Both diseases are characterized by fever and weakness.

Nagging pain

It is characteristic for:

  • thrombosis
  • neurocirculatory dystonia;
  • angina pectoris;
  • osteochondrosis;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Such a symptom is noted with myocardial infarction, in this case there will be a sharp deterioration in the condition, there may be a clouding of consciousness due to pain shock. Pain in a neurosis is also described in a similar way, when psychoemotional disturbances come to the fore.

Consider the additional characteristics of the pain syndrome:

  1. If the pain gives to the shoulder blade, it can be: angina pectoris, esophageal spasm, myocardial infarction, cardioneurosis.
  2. When the pain intensifies during inspiration, this indicates: intercostal neuralgia, pleurisy or myositis of intercostal muscles. When the intensity of the pain syndrome increases with a deep breath, it can be: pneumonia or pulmonary thromboembolism. In both cases, a general condition worsens, but with pneumonia this occurs gradually, and with pulmonary embolism, the count goes on for minutes.
  3. If the pain syndrome intensifies with movement, this may be a sign of osteochondrosis of the cervical or thoracic region.
  4. When there is pain extending hand, a person may have one of the following diseases:
    • osteochondrosis;
    • myositis of the intercostal muscles on the left side;
    • myocardial infarction;
    • angina pectoris;
    • interscapular pain syndrome;
    • endocarditis;
    • pneumothorax.
  5. When pain is accompanied by shortness of breath:
    • myocardial infarction;
    • pneumothorax;
    • pulmonary embolism;
    • pneumonia;
    • rupture of an aortic aneurysm.
  6. If weakness and pain in the heart area appear, it can be tuberculosis, pleurisy, pericarditis, exfoliating aortic aneurysm, pneumonia.
  7. The combination of “dizziness pain” is characteristic of:
    • mitral valve prolapse;
    • cardiomyopathy;
    • cardioneurosis;
    • osteochondrosis or a hernia of the cervical spine, accompanied by compression of the vertebral artery.

When the first alarming symptoms appear, you should immediately consult a doctor. First, the doctor will establish the exact cause of the seizures. Secondly, he will prescribe an effective method of treatment.

Diagnosis of a disease in the heart includes:

  • X-ray
  • cardiogram;
  • sonography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • fluorography;
  • endoscopy of the stomach;
  • checking for osteochondrosis, mental disorders and pinched nerves.

Several doctors are involved in the diagnosis of health conditions, namely: cardiologist, pulmonologist, neuropathologist and gastroenterologist. If you suspect the presence of neoplasms, you will need to consult a oncologist.

Most often, the patient has a left arm and heart pain, in the case of a disease, not of the heart, but of neighboring organs. We are talking about pathologies of the lungs, kidneys, musculoskeletal system. Among them:

  1. Osteochondrosis. With the development of osteochondrosis, the load goes to the cardiac system. In addition to unpleasant sensations in the spine, there is severe pain in the heart and numbness of the limbs. Requires medical attention to prevent the development of the disease.
  2. The consequences of injuries. After injuries, violations occur throughout the body.
  3. Duodenal ulcer. With duodenal ulcer, limbs are often numb. You should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
  4. Pancreatitis Associated symptoms are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, pallor of the face, fever.
  5. Gastrointestinal tract disorders. With disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, the patient feels unbearable pain not only in the stomach, but also in the heart. A big load goes to the heart.
  6. Neuralgia.
  7. Hormonal disorders. Most often, the heart hurts and gives in the hand precisely in women. In some cases, the symptoms are associated with hormonal disorders.
  8. Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the woman’s body changes completely. The load occurs on all organs, especially on the heart. In this regard, the pregnant woman feels malaise, numbness of the limbs.
  9. Pathology of the mammary glands.
  10. Benign and malignant tumors.
  11. Tuberculosis.
  12. Bronchial asthma.
  13. Dry pleurisy.

Unpleasant sensations in the heart area are a signal that the functioning of the body is impaired. It is worth a visit to a specialist. In the CDS Clinics conduct a comprehensive examination of the body using modern equipment. Consult a cardiologist and a neurologist. Your doctor will direct you to take tests and get tested. Among them, an electrocardiogram, ultrasound diagnosis of the heart, a holter study and others.

Noncardiac causes of heart pain and numbness of limbs

Angina pectoris

This is a type of coronary heart disease. It is associated with the fact that, due to an atherosclerotic plaque, thrombus, or spasm in the coronary artery, the diameter of this vessel, which nourishes the heart structure, decreases. The latter lacks oxygen and sends pain signals. Characteristic of the latter:

  • occur most often after physical or emotional stress: lifting weights, climbing stairs, walking fast, walking against the wind (especially cold, especially in the morning), walking after eating;
  • can appear at night in the morning or after waking up, when a person has not yet got out of bed (this is Prinzmetall angina);
  • after resting or stopping in the first case or taking Corinfar, Nifedipine, or Phenigidinum, in the second, the pain goes away;
  • compressive pain, baking;
  • it is localized either behind the sternum, or to the left of the sternum, its area can be indicated with a fingertip;
  • can give to the area of ​​the left hand, shoulder blades; the left half of the jaw;
  • removed by “Nitroglycerin” after 10-15 seconds.

Myocardial infarction

This is the second and most severe form of coronary artery disease. It develops when those plaques or arteries that caused short-term, only during emotional or physical exertion, myocardial oxygen starvation, grew and blocked the artery almost completely. This condition can happen when a blood clot or a piece of fat, which clogged an artery, has flown off somewhere (from some vein, most often in the legs). As a result, a part of the heart, if within one hour you do not provide professional help, introducing a thrombus-dissolving drug, will die.

Myocardial infarction can manifest itself in different ways. In the classic version it is:

  • strong, burning, tearing pain in the left side in the region of the heart. It is so strong that a person may even lose consciousness;
  • not removed by “Nitroglycerin” and rest;
  • gives to the left hand, shoulder blade, neck and jaw – on the left side;
  • the pain increases in waves;
  • accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, heart rhythm disturbance;
  • cold sweat appears on the skin everywhere.
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A heart attack is an insidious disease: if it manifests itself typically, it gives a person a chance at salvation. But also with this dangerous disease, only the hand, jaw, or even one little finger on the left hand can hurt; a heart rhythm disturbance may occur or suddenly, for no apparent reason, a stomach ache begins or loosening of the stool occurs.


This is called inflammation of the heart bag caused by an infectious cause. People describe such pain as:

  • chest pain (or they say: “Localized deep in the chest”);
  • piercing character;
  • amplifies in a prone position;
  • weakens when sitting or standing leaning forward a little;
  • long, in many cases passes from time to time;
  • does not give anywhere;
  • not removed by nitroglycerin;
  • occurs after acute respiratory infections, pneumonia, and other diseases caused by microbes;
  • accompanied by weakness, fever.

This “bending” of the valve into the left atrium (normally its lobes should open in systole and close tightly in the diastole) has either a congenital cause, or develops after rheumatism, myocardial infarction or myocarditis, against lupus, coronary heart disease or other heart diseases.

  • not intense bursting heart pain;
  • bouts of heart palpitations;
  • interruptions in the work of the heart;
  • dizziness;
  • fainting;
  • nausea;
  • sensation of “coma” in the throat;
  • increased sweating;
  • due to insufficient blood supply to the brain, a person with mitral valve prolapse is prone to depression, periods of poor mood.

This is the name of the condition when in the aorta, the largest vessel in which the highest pressure, expansion occurs – aneurysm. Then, against this background, between the layers forming the wall of the aneurysm, there is an accumulation of blood – a hematoma. She “creeps” down, peeling layers of the aortic wall from each other. As a result, the wall of the vessel becomes weak, and can be torn at any time, causing massive bleeding.

Exfoliating aneurysm rarely occurs “on its own”, most often it is preceded by a period when a person constantly has high blood pressure, or he suffers from atherosclerosis, when plaques form in the aortic region, or the cause of the condition becomes syphilis or Marfan syndrome.

Pain with stratified aortic aneurysm:

  • strong
  • located behind the upper part of the sternum;
  • can give to the neck, lower jaw;
  • can be felt throughout the chest;
  • lasts from several hours to several days;
  • not removed by nitroglycerin;
  • may be accompanied by a blue face and swelling of the jugular veins located on the side surfaces of the neck.


This is the name for inflammation of all three (panaortitis) or parts (endortitis, mesaortitis, peroortitis) of the membranes of the thoracic aorta. The cause of the disease can be:

  • infection (streptococcus, syphilis, tuberculosis, brucellosis);
  • autoimmune diseases (Takayasu disease, collagenoses, ankylosing spondylitis, thromboangiitis obliterans);
  • inflammation can “go” from the inflamed organs located near the aorta: with pneumonia, lung abscess, infectious endocarditis, mediastinitis.

The disease is manifested by a group of symptoms: some of them are signs of the underlying disease, others are manifestations of a violation of the blood supply to the internal organs or the brain, and others are symptoms of directly aortic inflammation. The latter include:

  • pressing and burning pains in the chest;
  • most often – behind the hilt of the sternum, but the pain can be given to the left;
  • give to the neck, between the shoulder blades, to the “epigastric” region;
  • the pulse on the carotid and radial arteries is not symmetrical, may be absent completely on one side;
  • blood pressure may not be detected on one arm.


This is called inflammation of the inner lining of the heart, from which valves are made, the chords of the main “pump” of a person. Pain with this disease rarely occurs – only in its late stages, when the patient performs physical activity or experiences a strong emotion. She is aching, not intense, can give to the arm and neck.

Other signs of endocarditis are:

  • rise in temperature, often to low numbers;
  • body temperature decreases and rises for no apparent reason;
  • fever is accompanied by a feeling of cold or severe chills;
  • the skin is pale, may be earthy in color;
  • nails thicken, becoming like glasses in a watch;
  • if you lower the lower eyelid, in some people you can find on the conjunctiva point hemorrhage;
  • small joints of the hands are affected;
  • fast weight loss;
  • periodically dizzy and sore head, but in a horizontal position, these symptoms disappear.


There are 3 types of this disease, but pain in the region of the heart is characteristic only for the hypertrophic variant. The pain syndrome does not differ from that of angina pectoris, and even appear after physical exertion.

In addition to pain, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is manifested:

  • shortness of breath;
  • increased heart rate;
  • cough;
  • dizziness and fainting;
  • swelling of the legs (see cardiac edema);
  • increased fatigue.

Heart defects

They are either congenital in nature, or develop against the background of rheumatism. Heart pain most often accompanies only stenosis of the aortic opening – a decrease in diameter in the place where the aorta comes from the heart.

The pain syndrome in this case is constant, his character is nagging, stitching, pressing. In addition, blood pressure often rises, swelling appears on the legs. There are no other signs specific to aortic stenosis.


Inflammation of the heart muscle, which is most often the result of influenza or enterovirus infection, is also manifested in heart pain in 75-90% of cases. They have a pricking molting character, occur both in connection with physical activity, and in a state of relative rest, after exercise. Fatigue and fever are also noted. Nitroglycerin does not help relieve pain.

Myocardial dystrophy

This is the name of a group of heart diseases in which the heart muscle is not inflamed and does not undergo degeneration, but the basic functions of the heart associated with its contractility and rhythm suffer.

The disease can manifest itself with a pain syndrome of a different nature. Most often these are aching or aching pains that appear against the background of a sensation of heat or, conversely, increased coldness of the extremities, sweating. In addition, weakness, increased fatigue, frequent headaches are noted.

Constantly increased blood pressure can manifest itself not only in a headache, “flies” in front of the eyes, or a sensation of a “rush.” In this case, pain may appear in the left half of the chest, which has a aching, pressing character or a feeling of “heaviness” in the chest.

This, in principle, is all heart disease that may be accompanied by pain in the left half of the chest. There are much more non-cardiological pathologies that cause this symptom, and now we will analyze them.

They are distinguished by several groups, depending on which organ system was the cause of this symptom.

Painful sensations in the region of the heart can be caused by cardioneurosis and cyclotymic conditions, which are identical in their manifestations. In these cases, despite the wealth of symptoms, an examination of the heart and internal organs does not reveal any pathology. A person notes the following symptoms:

  • pains in the left side of the chest appear in the morning before waking up or during it;
  • attacks almost always appear when overheating, rather than on cold and windy days, as is the case with angina pectoris;
  • it can be triggered by depression or a conflict situation;
  • the pain does not disappear if you stop or take nitroglycerin; it can last up to several days, and can appear several times a day (up to 5), lasting 1-2 hours. In this case, the nature of the pain can change each time;
  • if you perform several easy physical exercises, this can relieve pain;
  • the nature of the pain can be different: squeezing, heaviness, tingling, it can be described as a “void” in the chest or, on the contrary, bursting. There may be a “nagging pain” or severe intensity syndrome, accompanied by a fear of death;
  • pain gives to the neck, both shoulder blades, can capture the right half of the chest, the spine;
  • you can accurately indicate the point at which maximum pain is noted;
  • sensitivity of the left nipple increases;
  • the condition worsens when experiencing any – positive or negative – emotions;
  • during an attack, a person begins to breathe often and superficially, as a result of which the level of carbon dioxide in the blood decreases, which is accompanied by dizziness, a sense of fear, can serve as the basis for the development of arrhythmia;
  • for all the frequency and intensity of seizures, preparations of the Nitroglycerin or Anaprilin type do not affect them; lasting for years, they do not lead to the development of the phenomena of heart failure: shortness of breath, swelling on the legs, changes in the roentgenogram of the lungs or ultrasound picture of the liver.
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Any pain in the region of the heart is an alarm, it cannot be ignored. Usually, diseases of this organ have similar signs:

  • heart aches, gives in the left hand;
  • limbs go numb;
  • dizzy;
  • not enough air;
  • profuse sweating;
  • cough.

Gives a heart to his left hand? This symptom is quite dangerous. In this pathological phenomenon, a serious cardiological disease may be hidden.

Symptoms are almost the same, however, pain in the heart, surrendering to the left hand, is manifested by such signs:

  • difficulty breathing;
  • skin on the face changes;
  • anxiety;
  • fear of dying;
  • pressing pain and burning spasm in the chest.

Other pathologies that affect muscles and blood vessels can disguise themselves as heart diseases.


During the progression of neuralgia, the nerve endings in the cervicothoracic spine are compressed. As a result – squeezing pain in the heart, which gives to the left side of the body. As an additional symptom: the affected areas of the body overcomes tremors, the skin becomes “goose” and goes numb.

The heart hurts, gives the left or right to the hand – these signs may not refer to cardiology, but to neuralgia. It’s about intercostal pathology. This disease develops against the background of osteochondrosis of the spine. Acute pain and heaviness in the chest area for a long time can not be eliminated even after taking medications.

Factors provoking the disease:

  • due to complications after a viral infection (ARVI, ARI);
  • after hypothermia;
  • due to poisoning;
  • with age-related diseases;
  • with intense physical exertion;
  • with diseases of the nervous and cardiovascular systems;
  • after injuries;
  • at a diabetes.

Moreover, pain can intensify even with inhalation or normal movements (for example, when raising one hand). The affected area of ​​the skin may even go numb. And attacks often occur after stress and are accompanied by profuse sweating, muscle twitching and tingling.

In men, such attacks usually occur in the lower part of the ribs, and in women – in the region of the heart.

Myocardial infarction

With this pathology, there is a sharp lack of incoming blood in the heart. It occurs against the background of a violation of blood circulation in the blood vessels of the myocardium. In medicine, this phenomenon is called occlusion of coronary circulation. As a result of this phenomenon, some parts of the heart muscle die. Therefore, dead spots lead to malfunctioning of the heart. For this reason, a person feels how sharply and strongly crushes the heart and gives in his left hand. May give pain to the neck, back, ear or lower jaw.

The pain is quite burning and squeezing. If the dying process affects a large area, then the patient will not be able to stand on his feet. The pain is accompanied by a lack of air, a feeling of panic and a fear of dying. It is even possible loss of consciousness. At the first pain, the patient must take a horizontal position.

This disease provokes inflammation in the heart. Symptoms of myocarditis can occur 7 days after the onset of the disease.

The main symptoms of myocarditis: stabs and squeezes the heart, pain gives in the left shoulder, pressure in the chest area. Moreover, such symptomatic manifestations are observed even at rest.

The patient may experience increased pain and difficulty breathing with any movement. Fatigue, shortness of breath are observed, the temperature rises and profuse sweating begins. As an additional sign of myocarditis, sleep disturbance.

Angina pectoris

My heart aches and gives in my left hand? Do you feel heavy in the chest? All these are the first signs of angina pectoris. It becomes difficult for the patient to breathe, chest pressure is felt. Pressing pain in the heart gives to the left arm or neck, less often to the jaw.

An attack of angina pectoris is accompanied by excessive physical and emotional stress. Great weakness appears throughout the body. In this case, the pain does not become weaker if you change the position of the body.


If the heart hurts and gives in the left hand, then perhaps this has long been forgotten heart injuries: bruise, muscle rupture, myocardial necrosis.

The development of neoplasms in the heart is manifested by the following symptoms: severe shortness of breath, pressing pain in the left shoulder, chest. Neoplasms can be either benign or malignant.

Pathology in the heart can develop against the background of diabetes mellitus, since this disease disrupts the metabolic process in the myocardium and makes changes in the structure of the coronary arteries. As a result, the patient feels unpleasant heavy sensations in the chest and discomfort on the left side of the body.


If the heart pricks and gives to the left hand, then these symptoms can characterize ischemia. The disease provokes disturbances in the blood supply to the coronary arteries.

The main factors that form this pathology:

  • overweight, obesity of various stages;
  • hypertension (increased blood pressure);
  • wrong lifestyle: bad habits, inactivity;
  • diabetes;
  • hereditary factor;
  • constant stress and nervous psychoemotional breakdowns.

Most often, with ischemia, the heart hurts and gives to the left hand, less often to the right hand. The patient observes shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, nausea, excessive sweating, fainting, and general weakness.

Usually, ischemia is diagnosed already at the time of its transition to a chronic form. In this case, the patient has swelling of the lower extremities, and because of shortness of breath, he is forced to sit for a long time.

Primary cardiac arrest in 60% of cases ends in death before the ambulance arrives. A harbinger of this condition is a sharp chest pain. Due to the panic and fear that grips the patient, the condition becomes worse. Coronary death immediately leads to loss of consciousness, the skin turns pale, and the pulse is absent, breathing gradually stops.


Aching girdle and pulling pain – these unpleasant sensations bring osteochondrosis. Gives in the heart and left arm – a symptom of the cervicothoracic region that occurs with this disease. Often pain spreads throughout the body, as if “goosebumps.”

A characteristic additional symptom in osteochondrosis is changes in the intervertebral discs, which are manifested by pain in the fingers. The little finger is often deformed, as evidence of a change in the shape of the vertebrae in the lower part of the neck. If the discomfort is in the thumb, then this indicates changes in the cervical vertebral discs.


With severe pain in the region of the heart and chest, giving to the left side of the body, the jaw, with lack of air, severe sweating, dizziness and numbness of the limbs, you must immediately call an ambulance. Remember: this condition can be life threatening.

The doctor selects the method of treatment individually, depending on the characteristics of the development of the disease in a particular patient. In one case, it will be enough to drink a course of a special drug to strengthen the heart muscle. Otherwise, hospitalization and surgery may be required.

The essence of each therapy is to improve cardiac activity and prevent blood clots.

It is important during normalization to normalize heart rate and blood pressure. It is also necessary to eliminate external irritating factors that negatively affect the nervous system.

First aid

If the heart hurts the second day, gives the left hand, then you need to immediately call a doctor. And while waiting for an ambulance, you must:

  • lie as comfortable as possible;
  • unfasten the buttons on the shirt so that it is not tight in the chest;
  • provide access to fresh air;
  • with neuralgia, pulmonary pathology, problems with the spine, cardioneurosis, take one or two tablets of “Analgin”, “Noshpa”;
  • if the patient has angina pectoris and heart attack, then urgently drink “Nitroglycerin” and “Aspirin”;
  • take a pain medication for a patient with cardioneurosis: Motherwort, Valocordin, Valerian;
  • if there is a cough, then try to moderate it;
  • try not to talk;
  • prepare ammonia in advance in case the patient loses consciousness.

Any compresses (both hot and cold) can not be applied to the chest. This is a wake-up call, when the heart hurts, gives in the left hand. Reviews of people say that you need to drink “Corvalol”, “Validol”, “Nitroglycerin” and consult a specialist. If the pain persists, then most likely the patient develops neuralgia.

If you managed to eliminate the attack on your own, this does not mean that you can forget about it. After providing yourself first aid, you must urgently consult a doctor to determine the cause of the attack and further treatment.

Remember that each pathology can lead to serious consequences. Even with minor pain in the heart, consult a doctor. Any disease can be eliminated at an early stage of development. Take care of yourself!

Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.