Why can I feel hiccups in my left arm?

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In summary, when a person swallows a tablet with a big gulp of water, they can feel it in their left arm too. Normally just above the elbow, it could be related to their heart. If someone pinch the brachial nerve, it could be the cause of cardiac referred pain.
  • #1
Also, when I swallow a tablet with a big gulp of water I can feel it in my left arm too. Usually just above the elbow.

I'm guessing, because it's the left side, it has something to do with my heart.

I'm not hypochondriaking, I'm just curious.
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  • #2
Pinching the brachial nerve, perhaps?
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  • #3
Cardiac referred pain is a not well understood phenomena, though long and widely reported. I would not extrapolate from hiccups irritation spasm from IIRC somatic reflex arc to a cardiac phenomena. Your question is best asked a professional.
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  • #4
Bystander said:
Pinching the brachial nerve, perhaps?
There are a number of brachial nerves that are continuations of the axilliary nerve and plexus from C4 and C5.

Remember Artie Johnson's opening skit on R&M's Laugh In, where he falls off his tricycle? Five-ish years ago I flipped my performance trike and fell onto my out-streched arm impinging/pinching my Long Thoracic Nerve of Bell and enervating my Rt Anterior Serratus, the muscle that holds the scapula against the trunk. Now when I hold my Rt arm out my scapula sticks out like a bird's clipped wing, hence my Winging Scapula. While the muscle was dissecting the pain was incredible for two sleepless days.
  • #5
Aren't the anatomical lessons of "maturity" marvelous to experience? C3 is the trigeminal? Plus something down the arm.
  • #6
Experience is a good teacher. A bad experience is a better teacher.

Not as I recall. It's tri for three branches to the face, mandible and maxilla.

In HS I insulted CN VII with Swimmer's Ear causing Bell's Palsy for six weeks and ending my career as a competitive swimmer (George Haynes, SCHS '64 '65).
  • #7
Doug Huffman said:
three branches to the face, mandible and maxilla
... and I was thinking there was another nerve off C3 that has something to do with sense of touch in the arm. Turn the head to see what the cat knocked over, hear a crunching, grinding noise in the neck and one side of the face and arm on same side go numb simultaneously.
  • #9
"Somewhat simplified." Possibilities for crosstalk in a frayed wiring harness look horrifying.
  • #10
Oh sure. Anatomy and physiology is not rigidly designed or arranged. That's why MD's get the big bucks for recognizing that "something's different here!"
  • #11
Don't forget that the brain's map of sensations to locations on the body has a great deal of plasticity. I recall reading about doctors grafting artificial nerves from a prosthetic limb onto an amputee's body and the brain learning to process those signals.

1. Why do I feel hiccups in my left arm?

Feeling hiccups in your left arm is a common occurrence and is caused by a nerve called the phrenic nerve. This nerve controls the diaphragm, the muscle responsible for hiccups, and branches out to the left arm. When the diaphragm spasms, it can cause the nerve to send signals to the left arm, resulting in the feeling of hiccups.

2. Can feeling hiccups in my left arm be a sign of a serious condition?

In most cases, feeling hiccups in your left arm is not a cause for concern and is a normal bodily response. However, if you experience persistent hiccups or other symptoms along with it, it is best to consult a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

3. Is there anything I can do to stop feeling hiccups in my left arm?

There are several methods you can try to stop hiccups, such as holding your breath, drinking water, or breathing into a paper bag. These techniques can help relax the diaphragm and stop the spasms that cause hiccups. However, if hiccups persist, it is best to consult a doctor.

4. Can stress or anxiety cause me to feel hiccups in my left arm?

Yes, stress and anxiety can trigger hiccups and make you feel them in your left arm. This is because stress and anxiety can cause changes in breathing patterns, which can irritate the diaphragm and lead to hiccups. Practicing relaxation techniques can help alleviate stress and reduce the likelihood of hiccups.

5. Is there a connection between feeling hiccups in my left arm and heart problems?

In rare cases, hiccups may be a symptom of an underlying heart condition. This is because the phrenic nerve also branches out to the heart, and any irritation or inflammation in the area can cause hiccups. If you experience hiccups along with chest pain or other heart-related symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

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