If you suffer from pain in your legs, ankles, feet, wrists, arms, or shoulders, you are not alone. Millions of people deal with extremity pain each year. While many cases are mild and temporary, others are debilitating and chronic. The type of pain you feel often depends on whether the discomfort is caused by an illness or an injury and whether the extremity in question is upper or lower. Extremity pain can be incredibly uncomfortable, but with proper diagnosis and medical care, the pain is usually treatable.
Lower and Upper Extremity Pain Symptoms
Symptoms of extremity pain vary depending on the underlying cause for the discomfort. People who experience this problem describe the pain in a variety of ways, from dull and achy to sharp and intense.
The pain may also vary with different activity levels. Some people only experience pain while exercising, while the discomfort is constant for others. Others find that the pain is only present during certain activities or movements. Regardless of what causes your extremity pain, you may also experience the following symptoms in addition to your discomfort.
Lower and Upper Extremity Pain Causes
Many different injuries and illnesses cause extremity pain. While many possible causes such as arthritis, fractures, and muscle strains can cause pain in both upper and lower extremities, certain conditions only affect one of the two.
Upper extremity pain: The most common cause is overuse. Lifting heavy objects repeatedly, rotating your wrist the same way every few minutes, or repetitive arm movements can irritate the muscles in your extremities.
Lower extremity pain: Pain felt in your lower extremities is often caused by compressed nerves. Pinched back muscles, a herniated disk, and sciatica can all cause acute leg pain, even if the actual injury occurs in your lower back. Illnesses such as diabetic neuropathy and gout can also cause pain in your legs, ankles, and feet.
Lower and Upper Extremity Pain Treatments
There are many treatment options for extremity pain, but effectiveness varies depending on the injury or illness that is causing the pain. The severity and site of the discomfort also play a critical role in how it is treated.
For sprains, strains, and fractures, immobilization of the injured limb helps many people. Those who suffer from diabetic neuropathy may benefit from getting their blood sugar under control and slowly increasing exercise. Sciatic nerve pain can often be relieved through therapeutic massage or chiropractic care. People who suffer from nerve pain may find relief through a medication prescribed by a medical professional. Minor injuries, such as those caused by overuse, often recede after resting the affected limb for a prolonged amount of time.
Lower and Upper Extremity Pain Risk Factors
Extremity pain is common because it can be caused by a wide variety of underlying problems. People involved in certain activities or who have chronic illnesses have a higher chance of experiencing extremity discomfort. Some of the highest risk factors are listed below.
Excess exercise: While staying active is an important part of staying healthy, those who exercise excessively have a better chance of injury due to the amount of stress they put on their bodies. Shin splints, fractures, and torn ligaments can all occur when too much stress is put on your extremities while exercising.
Chronic health conditions: Many health problems such as diabetes can wreak havoc on your nervous system, leading to chronic pain in your extremities.
Age: Older adults are prone to arthritis and degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis. These conditions are often characterized by painful swelling in the joints and discomfort in limbs.
If you suffer from extremity pain and are looking for lower back pain causes and treatment, contact Superior Pain Relief for an evaluation.