When heart attacks occur, one of the most common symptoms is pain in the left arm and shoulder. Of course, this isn’t always the case since some people don’t experience this type of pain. There is also the possibility of right arm pain during a heart attack, which isn’t as common.

In fact, right arm pain is often dismissed by individuals experiencing heart issues due to the rarity of the symptom. Right arm pain is also caused by other issues, including nerve damage, injury, or overuse. If you feel any of the heart attack symptoms, do seek medical attention right away.

So, how can you tell if the pain you’re feeling on your right side is associated with heart problems? Let’s find out.

Nurse taking care of an elderly woman with right arm pain lying on bed during post-surgery recovery.

Right Arm Pain and Heart Issues?

A heart attack occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up, reducing or blocking blood flow. When blood flow is restricted, varying symptoms occur, usually beginning with discomfort, pressure, or pain in the chest.

As the heart cells run out of oxygen, they send signals through the nervous system. Though this is meant to alert the brain that there is an issue, sometimes the brain misinterprets those signals. It may even decide the signals are coming from other areas, like the arms. That’s why many people experience arm pain during a heart attack along with chest discomfort.

The issue with arm pain is that the left arm is mainly associated with heart problems. Though men often experience pain on the left side, women can experience right arm pain during a heart problem. Of course, this isn’t always the case since women can also feel pain on the left side. They may even feel pain on both sides simultaneously or no arm pain at all.

Pain on the right side is so uncommon during a heart attack the symptom is often ignored. It is frequently believed to be the result of other issues. For instance, most of the population is right-handed, so this limb experiences more use. The right arm is also more often injured from excessive use. This is just one of the reasons right arm pain is often dismissed as a symptom of a heart attack.

When should I worry about arm pain?

Right arm pain should become a concern if you are experiencing other symptoms associated with a heart issues. These can vary in men and women, so knowing which ones to watch is a must.

For men, pain on the right side is rare but could still occur. They also may experience pain in the back, neck, or jaw. Other symptoms could include shortness of breath, light-headedness’, nausea, or vomiting.

For women, pain could occur in either arm or both at the same time. Pain, pressure, or fullness in the chest can be continual or fade and return frequently. Chest pain may not occur at all in some women. Instead, they could experience shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea, or light headedness.

If you feel left arm pain or even right arm, which is rare, and at least one other heart issue symptom, it’s best to seek medical attention. Early detection can limit the damage to the heart for a faster recovery.

This content comprises informative and educational resources only and can not be considered as a substitute for professional health or medical guidance. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk. If you have any inquiries or apprehensions about your medical condition or health goals, talk with a licensed physician or healthcare provider.