Sharp pain in legs and arms: The request could not be satisfied
Leg pain – Mayo Clinic
Leg pain can be constant or intermittent, develop suddenly or gradually, and affect your entire leg or a localized area, such as your shin or your knee. It can take a number of forms — stabbing, sharp, dull, aching or tingling.
Some leg pain is simply annoying, but more-severe leg pain can affect your ability to walk or to bear weight on your leg.
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March 27, 2021
- Exercise-induced leg pain. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/search-results?q=leg%20pain. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Seller RH, et al. Pain in the lower extremity in adults. In: Differential Diagnosis of Common Complaints. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012.
- Knee and leg. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/menus/leg.cfm. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Neschis DG, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis of lower extremity peripheral artery disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Clark MC. Overview of the causes of limp in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Lehman TJA. Growing pains. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Firestein GS, et al. Hip and knee pain. In: Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- What is Paget’s disease of bone? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Pagets/pagets_disease_ff.asp. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Hamstring muscle injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00408. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Yu DT, et al. Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Patellar tendon tear. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00512. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Herniated disk. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00334. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
- Ankle sprains and the athlete. American College of Sports Medicine. https://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/anklesprainstemp.pdf?sfvrsn=7. Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.
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What causes shooting nerve pain?
Nerve pain is commonly accepted as one of the most excruciating things humans go through – it causes an intense, shooting or stabbing pain that stops you in your tracks.
Now, we literally couldn’t live without our nerves; we need them to move, to feel, to digest and to breathe. But not all our nerves detect pain. Some nerves govern only movement – these are called ‘motor nerves’. Some work without us having any control over them, governing our breathing and digestion, etc. These are called ‘autonomic nerves’.
But others – the sensory nerves – deal mainly with sensation. When you bang your ‘funny bone’, the pain actually comes from pressure on the ulnar nerve in your arm, which carries sensation from your hands to your brain. We need these sensory nerves to stop us from damaging ourselves (imagine if you didn’t notice when you put your hand on a hot stove). But when these nerves get inflamed or damaged, the pain can be intense.
Shingles is caused by infection with a virus called varicella zoster. Chickenpox is caused by the same virus. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus hangs around in the nerve roots next to your spine. It can lie dormant, causing no symptoms, for many years, before coming to life for no apparent reason and causing a painful, blistering rash over the part of skin supplied by that nerve root, just on one side of your body.
Most people recover completely from shingles. However, sometimes the inflammation in the nerve continues, causing ‘neuralgia’. This persistent pain is more common if you catch shingles over the age of 60. Treating shingles with antiviral tablets may reduce the risk – but you need to start treatment as soon as possible after the rash occurs. You’ll often get pain in a band around one side for two to three days before the rash appears. Your GP is unlikely to be able to make the diagnosis until you have a rash, but you might be able to book an appointment for a couple of days later, which you can cancel if the pain goes without any evidence of a rash.
This nerve pain affects the pain over the part of your face supplied by the trigeminal nerve. It can come on suddenly, and the pain can be brought on by chewing, touch or even wind blowing on your face. It’s usually caused by a blood vessel pressing on the nerve as it emerges from the brain at the base of your skull. We don’t know why this happens to some people and not others, but treatment is based on your symptoms, not the cause.
Proctalgia fugax – literally a pain in the bottom
The translation of this long medical term is pain (-algia) in the bottom (proct-) that’s fleeting (fugax). It may affect one in six people. Caused by sudden spasm in the muscles around the bottom, it gives rise to really nasty shooting pain in the bottom that lasts from seconds to minutes.
Because the pain is very short-lived and tends to come in bouts just a few times a year, most people don’t feel they need treatment. But it’s definitely worth getting checked out, because very occasionally more serious problems like cancer around the bottom can cause similar symptoms (simple examination and blood test can usually rule this out). In severe cases, medicines can help.
Back pain is one of the most common kinds of pain – and by golly, it can hurt! About four in five people get back pain at some point in their lives, and it can strike at any age – in fact, it’s one of the most common causes of working people going off sick in the UK.
All the main nerves supplying the body are carried in the spinal cord inside your spine. Very severe pain that goes down to your leg, or causes weakness/numbness/tingling in your leg, may be due to the nerve root being squashed or irritated.
Nerve pain treatments
Simple painkillers often don’t work well for nerve pain. But these days there are lots of medicines which damp down the responses of your nerves, easing the pain. Many of these medicines were originally invented to treat other diseases of the nervous system – for instance, many epilepsy medicines and antidepressant tablets have been found to be effective for nerve pain.
These tablets can cause side effects like drowsiness. If they don’t work, or if you can’t tolerate the side effects, other treatments like local anaesthetic injections into the nerves may offer relief.
With thanks to ‘My Weekly’ magazine where this article was originally published.
Nerve pain (neuralgia) – causes, treatments and diagnosis
On this page
What is nerve pain?
Nerve pain, also called neuralgia or neuropathic pain, occurs when a health condition affects the nerves that carry sensation to the brain. It is a particular type of pain that feels different from other kinds of pain.
There are different types of nerve pain, including:
- post-herpetic — this can happen after you’ve had shingles (herpes zoster) and affects the same area as the shingles rash
- trigeminal— causing pain in the jaw or cheek
- occipital — causing pain at the base of your skull that can spread to the back of your head
- pudendal — causing pain in the ‘saddle area’ between the legs
What are the symptoms of nerve pain?
Nerve pain often feels like a shooting, stabbing or burning sensation. Sometimes it can be as sharp and sudden as an electric shock. People with neuropathic pain are often very sensitive to touch or cold and can experience pain as a result of stimuli that would not normally be painful, such as brushing the skin.
It’s often worse at night. It might be mild or it might be severe.
People who have nerve pain often find that it interferes with important parts of life such as sleep, sex, work and exercise.
Some people with nerve pain become angry and frustrated, and may have anxiety and depression.
What causes nerve pain?
Nerve pain can be due to problems in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), or in the nerves that run from there to the muscles and organs. It is usually caused by disease or injury.
Common causes include:
- an injury to the brain, spine or nerves
- poor blood supply to the nerves
- heavy drinking
- phantom pain after an amputation
- vitamin B12 or thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency
- certain medicines
Conditions that can cause nerve pain include:
There are other conditions associated with nerve pain.
Sciatica is pressure on the nerves of the lower back that causes pain down the leg. The pain can be accompanied by pins and needles, numbness or weakness in the leg.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome associated with burning or aching pain in different parts of the body. The cause is not well understood, but it can be triggered by emotional distress and poor sleep. There may be genetic factors, too.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body are damaged. It’s caused by diabetes, autoimmune diseases and other conditions.
How is nerve pain diagnosed?
The main way your doctor will diagnose nerve pain is by listening to you and examining you.
In the examination, they will probably test your nerves by testing the strength of your muscles, checking your reflexes, and by seeing how sensitive it is to touch.
You may be asked to have tests like:
- blood tests to check your general health and look for underlying conditions
- nerve conduction studies which measure how quickly your nerves carry electrical signals
- a CT scan or an MRI scan to look for anything that could be pressing on a nerve
How is nerve pain treated?
There are many ways to treat nerve pain. Treating the underlying cause, if there is one, is the first step.
Painkillers and a range of different medicines can help, as can non-drug treatments like exercise, acupuncture and relaxation techniques.
Nerve pain can be difficult to treat. Any underlying conditions such as diabetes and vitamin B12 deficiency can be managed. Otherwise, treatments aim to directly ease the pain. Options include medicines and non-medicine strategies.
Some nerve pain will be controlled with simple painkillers like aspirin, paracetamol or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Stronger painkillers such as opioids are sometimes used, but these have significant side effects that can be harmful especially in the long term, and can be addictive.
Many other medicines can be effective against nerve pain. They include medicines originally used to treat depression (such as amitriptyline and duloxetine) and seizures (gabapentin, pregabalin and carbamazepine).
Non-medicine treatments can help people to understand and cope with the pain. They include:
People with chronic pain may find it helpful to attend a multidisciplinary pain clinic where health professionals can work out a personalised pain management plan. You will need a referral from your doctor to attend a pain clinic. You can find a list of pain services on the Pain Australia website.
Resources and support
- There are support groups and helplines for different types of nerve pain throughout Australia. Visit the Pain Australia website for more information.
- Pain Australia also has a list of resources.
- Call the Australian Pain Management Association’s Pain Link helpline on 1300 340 357.
Are you getting aching legs at night? 9 causes of lower leg pain
Is pain in your legs causing you to have restless sleep? Is it preventing you from falling asleep easily? It’s a very common and
frustrating issue, and not something you should just put up with.
Your legs carry the load of your body throughout the day, but that doesn’t mean they should be causing you pain, especially at night.
Stabbing pain, dull aching or a strange tingling sensation are common complaints heard by our podiatrists. These are often symptoms of an
issue, rather than the issue itself, and a medical professional can help to diagnose and treat your troublesome legs.
We’ve compiled a list of common issues that could be causing your aching legs at night, and come up with helpful suggestions that can
help to manage your symptoms. If you continue to experience pain, book in to see one of our podiatrists.
When your muscles are fatigued, certain body movements can trigger cramps. If you’re experiencing cramps at night, this could be from
restlessness and turning over in bed. This triggers the muscle causing it to cramp. Interestingly, they can also be caused by a lack of
movement, specifically if you hold a position for a long period of time.
Dehydration and a lack of salts in your body fluids are also common causes of cramps. If you’re exercising and using all of the water
sources in your body, this can change the salt levels in your fluids. This change in levels results in altered signals sent between the
nerves and muscles, causing your muscles to twitch or cramp.
To avoid this, we suggest making an active effort to keep hydrated and well fed. We may also recommend magnesium supplements, however this
is only after our podiatrist has assessed your issue and medical history.
2. Inflammation of muscles/tendons
You may experience pain and inflammation in your muscles and tendons during the night as these muscles are healing while you sleep,
especially if you have an injury. However it is not a common symptom of injury pain and may indicate a greater severity of the injury or
problem at hand. Hence it is important that if this is happening to you to seek professional advice.
A couple of at-home treatments you could try initially include anti-inflammatory medication (if you can take it), making sure you find a
comfortable position while sleeping, and applying cold or heat packs to help reduce your symptoms. Please be careful in regards to heat and
3. Bone Fracture
Common symptoms you may experience are aching pain in the bone which is present during both the day and night. If it is a bone fracture,
your pain typically doesn’t settle when you’re at rest, unlike stress
when pain is primarily felt during weight-bearing exercise and only occasionally occurs at night.
Bone fractures generally occur as a result of a single incident, meaning you can probably pinpoint the exact time where it occurred, such as
from a heavy knock, or if the bone was exposed to a high load from a major fall etc. It will often feel like the bone itself is sore
instead of the surrounding muscles, and you can often pinpoint the exact sore spot.
Anti-inflammatory medications and resting in a comfortable position can help to ease your pain, however your body’s pain is signalling to
you that something isn’t quite right. Therefore, if you suspect a bone fracture, you should get it investigated by a medical
professional as soon as possible to prevent any serious future complications.
4. Blood clots
Blood clots often occur to people who have recently been travelling, especially those that were on long distance flights or sitting for long
periods of time.
The physical presence of a blood clot will alert you to something being wrong. Common symptoms include:
- It usually only affects one leg
- Abnormal redness
- Pain in your leg that is throbbing or cramping
- May be localised warmth and swelling
It is strongly recommended that you seek help from a medical professional as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of these
5. Vein issues
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen and twisted veins that are the result of poor circulation, and are particularly common in people with
fluid retention issues. This means the veins aren’t working as well as they should, so over the course of the day, the pressure in
your leg can increase from leaky valves or weakened vein walls. This creates an aching pain and heavy feeling in your legs, which worsens at
night after a day spent mostly on your feet.
To aide the pumping of “pooling blood” you can try the following:
- Walking and being active gets your blood moving.
- Calf raises when you are seated to aid compression of the veins to push the blood back up to the heart.
- Elevating your legs to encourage gravity to aid returning of blood flow back up your legs to your heart.
- Discuss your symptoms with your GP.
- Medical grade compression stockings dispensed by one of our podiatrists.
6. Artery disease
When not enough blood is getting to your feet, this lack of circulation can cause pain in your leg muscles. People often help to alleviate
this pain by hanging their legs over the side of the bed or standing up, which sends blood pumping back through the feet (thank you
gravity). This pain can affect one or both sides and is generally in the calves. You can also experience this pain with activity, and pain
is relieved almost immediately by cessation of activity.
Unfortunately, an increased risk of peripheral arterial disease is commonly associated with the following:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol and high blood pressure
Our podiatrists at The Feet People can help diagnose the above circulation problems and recommend an action plan. However we do also
recommend seeing your general practitioner if you’re experiencing similar symptoms, especially if you’re showing signs of a
7. Nerve pain
You may experience nerve pain during the night as the pressure of sleeping in a particular position may aggravate or cause compression of a
nerve. This pain may cause you to wake up with sharp, stabbing pain and/or numbness and tingling. This pain may not occur during your daily
Nerve pain can occur in a ‘one off case’ or be attributed to various medical conditions such as neuropathies. Neuropathies cause
damage to the nerves, resulting in altered sensations or increased sensitivity.
Often movement can help with your nerve pain. Performing gentle movements to encourage the muscles to warm up through improved circulation
can be an effective way to ease your symptoms.
There are other treatment options available too, which our podiatrist or your doctor can help in finding the best option for you.
It’s very common to have aching and tired legs during pregnancy. This occurs because of the increased blood volume and extra strain
you’re placing on your body as you carry more weight that it is not use to carrying. Your
uterus is also putting extra pressure on the veins
responsible for carrying blood back from your lower body. This partially blocks the blood flow, keeping the fluid in your legs and feet,
which causes them to become swollen and tired.
Gentle stretching and massage can help to relieve the tightness and fatigue felt through the legs and feet (maybe from a kind partner or
friend!). If this is not effective, our podiatrists can also help with these issues by prescribing specific exercises, giving advice on
footwear, educating about these common issues, and offering custom orthotics to
offload the high pressure areas.
Gout causes intense pain and swelling around the joints (often starting in the big toe). It is triggered by a chemical reaction, causing the
deposit of urate crystals in the impacted joint.
Attacks usually occur when you have been consuming certain foods and drinks that are high in purine. It will often flare up when people
drink beer or red wine and rich foods such as cheeses and red meats. Seemingly, we often see a higher incidence of gout after major
events like the State of Origin or Super Bowl, where people are likely to let loose on indulgent food and drink.
As gout occurs due to an out of balance chemical reaction in the joint, it often needs specific medicine to ease the symptoms, so we
recommend seeing your GP.
If chronic recurrent attacks occur you may develop secondary osteoarthritic changes in the affected joint. This is where our team of
podiatrists can help you manage that painful joint.
Many causes of lower leg pain are not serious and something that our podiatrists can address and treat. If you’re experiencing regular
lower leg pain, then we recommend seeking medical advice from one of our Brisbane podiatrists or a GP.
Types of Leg Pain That Are Actually Caused By a Back Problem: Texas Spine Consultants: Orthopedic Spine Surgeons
No doubt about it, your legs endure a lot of stress throughout your life, leading to a general wear and tear that may result in pain. However, not all sources of leg pain are caused by issues related to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage that make up your lower extremities.
It’s possible that the electric shock sensation you feel shooting down your leg every time you reposition your body is due to a back problem. At Texas Spine Consultants in Addison and Plano, Texas, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine health and help many people get relief from their leg pain by treating the underlying back problem responsible for the traveling pain sensations.
To save you from unnecessary testing and treatment of your legs, we want to share with you the types of leg pain that are actually caused by a back problem.
Describing your leg pain
Pain symptoms, no matter what body part they affect, can vary significantly. The pain may be dull, sharp, constant, or intermittent. But the type of leg pain you feel may help determine the source of your discomfort.
Your back may be the source of your leg pain if your symptoms include:
- Pain that radiates down your leg
- Muscle weakness in your leg
- Tingling, numbness, or burning sensation down your leg
- Pain symptoms that only affect one leg
- Electric shock sensation that travels down your leg
- Difficulty walking
You may not experience all of these symptoms. But if any of these symptoms match the type of leg pain you’re experiencing, then it may be time to see us at Texas Spine Consultants for an evaluation of your spine and back, instead of seeking treatment for your legs.
Back problems that cause leg pain
Almost everyone at some point in their life develops lower back pain. This part of your back includes your lumbar spine, which is responsible for supporting much of your upper body weight.
Aging and the stress of your body weight leads to degeneration of the components that make up your spine, including the discs, ligaments, cartilage, and vertebrae. These degenerative changes are often the source of lower back pain, as well as your leg pain. Back problems that cause leg pain include:
If your pain radiates from your back through your buttocks and into one of your legs then you may have sciatica. This common pain condition occurs from irritation or pinching of your sciatic nerve, which is a thick sensory and motor nerve that travels from your lumbar spine through the buttocks and into your legs on both sides of your body. Herniated discs and bone spurs are the most common cause of sciatica.
Pain or cramping in one or both of your legs when standing or walking for a long period of time may be signs that you have spinal stenosis. This common lower back condition is characterized by a narrowing of the space within your spine, which presses on the nerves running through. Symptoms caused by spinal stenosis tend to worsen with time.
Degenerative disc disease
Though disc degeneration is a fact of aging, not everyone develops degenerative disc disease. Back pain is the most common symptom of degenerative disc disease, but the changes in the health of your discs may also cause pain that radiates to your legs. Or, in the case of nerve root damage, leg weakness or foot drop.
Getting leg pain relief
Once you know the back problem causing your leg pain, you can get the treatment you need to alleviate your discomfort and improve back health. At Texas Spine Consultants we specialize in diagnosing and treating spine conditions and offer many treatments for leg pain, including:
- Pain management
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Epidural injections
- Nerve blocks
Though surgery is considered the last resort for the treatment of leg pain, our orthopedic spine surgeons use the most advanced minimally invasive techniques, including the XLIF® lateral interbody fusion, to remove the discs irritating your nerves.
Pain in your leg doesn’t mean there’s a problem with your leg. If you suspect your symptoms point more toward a back problem than a leg problem, call Texas Spine Consultants or request an appointment online today.
Pay Attention to Leg Pain: Know the Warning Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease
Know the Warning Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease
You probably wouldn’t ignore pain in your chest. But would you dismiss discomfort in your legs? Many people don’t realize that when it comes to your cardiovascular system, it’s also important to pay attention to your legs.
“A blockage in the leg can be as dangerous as a blockage in the heart,” says Brett Carroll, MD, Director of Vascular Medicine in the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Known as peripheral artery disease or PAD, the condition is caused by blockages that develop when the arteries that carry blood to the legs become clogged by plaque, the same sticky mix of calcium and cholesterol that can lead to blocked coronary arteries in the heart.
The good news is that when it is diagnosed in its early stages, PAD can often be controlled through lifestyle modifications like walking therapy and medications. Even better, you can lower your risk of developing PAD through healthy habits.
More About Peripheral Artery Disease
“People wouldn’t necessarily think that sore legs are related to heart disease,” adds CVI vascular surgeon Andy Lee, MD, an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “But if leg arteries are blocked, it’s likely that coronary arteries are blocked as well. Left untreated, PAD can potentially increase a person’s risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. It is also a leading cause of limb amputation.”
PAD is estimated to affect one in 20 people over age 50 and one in five people over age 70, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Although initial symptoms may be mild, nearly everyone who has PAD finds they are unable to walk as far or as fast as they previously could due to tired, achy legs. The leg pain associated with PAD is known as claudication.
“Claudication is different from other types of pain that result from arthritis or a bone or muscle problem,” says Carroll. “It typically follows a specific pattern, beginning with pain in the calves or thighs while a person is walking. It improves with rest, and then recurs when walking resumes.”
People often attribute this type of mild leg pain to “getting older and slowing down,” adds Lee (right). “But claudication is an indication that narrowed arteries may be reducing blood flow to the legs.”
Other signs of poor blood flow in the lower limbs include loss of leg hair and foot ulcers that don’t heal. Tell your doctor if you have fatigue or cramping in the calf, thigh or hip when walking.
One way that doctors diagnose PAD is through an ankle-brachial index test.
“This noninvasive test compares two blood pressure measurements,” explains Carroll.
One measure is taken in a person’s arm with a blood pressure cuff. Then a second measure is taken in the ankle using a blood pressure cuff and ultrasound waves to hear the pulse in the feet.
“When blood vessels are healthy, these two measurements should be similar,” he adds. “If there is a large discrepancy in the measurements and the ankle pressure number is low, it can indicate a narrowing or blockage in the leg arteries.”
Taking Steps to Control PAD
It may seem counterintuitive, but walking and exercise are key to controlling PAD and easing pain.
“Even if you have already been diagnosed with PAD, the more you walk, the more conditioned your legs will become,” says Carroll. “This will improve circulation and blood flow and diminish pain.”;
A recent review of prior studies found that walking can significantly improve walking ability in PAD patients, particularly supervised walking programs.
Many patients may benefit from a dedicated walking program. BIDMC offers a 12-week program, often covered by Medicare and most private insurers, which consists of interval walking on a treadmill under the supervision of a specially trained exercise or physical therapist.
“Multiple studies have shown that enrollment in a structured walking program is more beneficial than walking at home, but that may not be feasible for all patients,” says Carroll. “For those that cannot enroll in a dedicated program, I recommend, begin with a half-hour walk several times a week. Then, gradually increase the time or distance at subsequent weeks. Over time, pain should start to improve, allowing you to walk farther and longer. As walking becomes easier, gradually increase your time by five-minute intervals.”
Making treatment or therapy decisions for managing peripheral artery disease can be challenging. BIDMC is at the forefront of engaging patients in making informed, personalized decisions for their care.
Know the Risk Factors
The same risk factors that can damage your heart can damage your legs: Diabetes, high levels of bad cholesterol and high blood pressure can all lead to the development of PAD.
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, be diligent about taking medications. These include statins and cholesterol-lowering medications, which can help prevent blockages and are often an early step in treating PAD.
Another key to preventing PAD: Don’t smoke.
“Smoking is a principal risk factor for many types of vascular disease, especially PAD,” adds Lee. “My first advice to patients is, ‘If you smoke, quit.'”
Clearing Blocked Arteries
If lifestyle changes and medications aren’t enough to improve severe symptoms of PAD, you may need to consult with a vascular surgeon.
“Severe PAD can be treated in a number of ways,” adds Lee. “Patients may undergo angioplasty or angioplasty with stenting, a minimally invasive procedure that uses a catheter to push plaque away from the walls of leg arteries. In some cases, stents may be inserted to keep arteries open. “Depending on the extent of PAD and after careful discussion with our patients, we also perform more traditional open surgical procedures to remove plaque or bypass blockages.”
Learn more about Vascular Medicine at BIDMC.
Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
This content requires Flash Player.
|Listen as Dr. John P. Reilly discusses what PAD symptoms may feel like.|
Like most of us, you’ve probably had your share of aches and pains. Sometimes you can attribute them to a specific event—helping a friend move a heavy piece of furniture or pulling a muscle after bowling for the first time in years. Other times the pain comes on more gradually. You might think it’s just another sign that you’re getting older. As you age, especially if you have other health concerns, such as diabetes, it’s important to tell your doctor about all your aches and pains, especially if you have cramping, fatigue, heaviness, tightness or weakness in the legs while walking, running, climbing stairs or engaging in other activities.
These could be symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD) — a buildup of plaque and blockages in the arteries that restrict the flow of blood to your legs. PAD can cause pain called claudication. Unlike pulling a muscle or spraining an ankle, pain from PAD often goes away when you stop and rest. That’s called intermittent claudication.
Symptoms of PAD
Common symptoms of PAD include the following:
- Aching or burning sensation in the muscles (not the joints) of your legs or arms, such as when walking up a hill or doing repetitive arm exercises, such as hanging up laundry. The sensation stops after you’ve taken a short break.
- Legs feel tired or heavy.
- Discoloration of, or numbness in, the legs or feet.
- Sores on the toes, feet or legs that won’t heal.
Other Symptoms of PAD
People with PAD sometimes have other symptoms, too:
- Slowed walking pace
- Changes in your walk, such as a limp
- Pain while resting
- Pain in feet or toes that hurts more when they are elevated
- Change in color, especially redness of the skin on your legs
- Burning or aching feet
- Numbness in the legs
- One leg or foot feels cooler than the other
- Loss of hair below a certain point on the legs
- Color is slow to return after pressing down on your leg with your thumb
PAD Without Pain
You can also have PAD without any symptoms. In fact, at least half the people who have PAD do not have any symptoms or fail to recognize their symptoms as PAD. Too often, people think the pain they feel is part of the aging process and they don’t get help as early as they should.
That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor regularly and ask about PAD.
Zero in on Symptoms and Risk Factors
You are at risk for PAD and should see your doctor if you…
- Have symptoms of PAD
- Are over 70 years old
- Are over 50 old with other risk factors such as diabetes or a history of smoking
If you’re still not sure about your symptoms, try the SecondsCount PAD Symptoms Log. Now that you know what symptoms to look for, you can use the log to monitor your activities and how you feel for a week. Then, take the Log and Questions to Ask Your Doctor About PAD to your next appointment. It will help you and your doctor find the best approach to making you feel better.
Still not sure what to do? Take the SecondsCount PAD Are You At Risk? Quiz. But don’t delay. The only way to know for sure is to make an appointment and discuss it with your doctor.
The earlier PAD is recognized, the easier it is to treat. And everything you can do to treat PAD — for example, walking, eating a heart healthy diet and managing your diabetes — are good for you anyway.
If PAD Is Left Untreated
If you’ve already had PAD for some time without realizing it, you might have pain in your legs, feet, and toes all the time—even while you’re resting. Watch for sores on your feet and toes. You could have critical limb ischemia (CLI) or severely blocked arteries in your legs. If the flow of blood to your legs and feet continues to be restricted, the sores will not receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to heal and the affected tissue may die and develop gangrene. Toes, feet and legs affected by gangrene may have to be amputated.
Of course, it’s better to get help long before you reach this stage—not only to avoid sores and gangrene, but because PAD is an indication that your blood might not be making it to your heart, brain or kidneys as it should. You may already have trouble walking and doing other activities you could do before PAD, but a heart attack or stroke could restrict you even more.
Track Your Symptoms
If you think you might have peripheral artery disease (PAD), you can use the SecondsCount PAD Symptoms Log to monitor your symptoms for one week. The share your findings with your doctor. But don’t wait too long to make an appointment. The earlier PAD is recognized, the easier it is to treat.
90,000 symptoms, causes, treatment ✅ | Pharmacy24
Many people experience this symptom at least once in their life. Weakness occurs in the arms and legs, the muscles become sluggish and disobedient, and a feeling of constant fatigue appears.
Such manifestations can be temporary and caused by relatively harmless factors, but sometimes weakness in the arms and legs, as well as chronic fatigue, can be symptoms of rather serious diseases.Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to this in time and be examined in order to eliminate the root cause.
How is weakness in the arms and legs manifested?
Symptoms of weakness in arms and legs:
Feeling that the arms and legs are weak. It becomes difficult to walk, carry weights, even just bags of groceries, sometimes it is hard to just write with a pen or hold a cup in your hands.
There is a feeling of numbness in the limbs – they become disobedient, stiff.
Sometimes the weakness is so strong that one eyelid can drop, it becomes difficult to swallow and chew.
A person feels eternally tired, it is difficult for him to move, his limbs do not obey and are not able to perform the usual work.
Always remember that muscle weakness in the arms and legs is a symptom of some other disease or condition.
Causes of muscle weakness
One of the most common causes of muscle weakness is considered to be lack of muscle loading.If you do not exercise and lead a sedentary lifestyle, then muscle tissue begins to be partially replaced by fat. Over time, muscles weaken: they become less dense and more flabby.
There are many other reasons for weakness as well. Of the most harmless are:
side effects of some drugs;
But sometimes there can be more than serious reasons for weakness:
intervertebral hernias, cysts and formations in the back;
entrapment of nerves;
Little known causes of muscle weakness
In some cases, weakness in the limbs can occur due to a number of little known reasons.
For example, fatigue in muscle tissue can be caused by certain infections such as glandular fever (Epstein-Barr virus), influenza (influenza A and B). During these illnesses, patients feel that great efforts are required for muscle activity.
Another uncommon cause may be fibromyalgia (extra-articular disease of unknown etiology). People who have this pathology get tired very quickly. Fibromyalgia can also be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
In addition, a lack of thyroid hormone leads to muscle weakness. This condition is called hypothyroidism and can cause muscle degeneration and wasting. Hypothyroidism is a common health problem, but it is usually treated early, before long-term muscle problems develop.
Muscle fatigue can also occur due to electrolyte disturbances and a lack of fluid in the body (dehydration). The latter happens if a person drinks little and when he feels his thirst for drinking does not quench it.All this can lead to very serious consequences, so watch your drinking balance.
Why does constant fatigue occur?
If there is a suspicion that the weakness is caused by neurological or other pathological problems, then you need to contact a neurologist and do an MRI.
But constant fatigue is often caused by the wrong way of life.
Chronic fatigue often presents with the following symptoms:
weakness in the arms and legs;
deterioration in concentration and memorization;
immunity decreases, a person gets sick more often;
bowel disorder, diarrhea;
loss of appetite;
there may be increased anxiety.
The body suffers greatly from stress. Therefore, first of all, you need to to establish a lifestyle:
Minimize stress and nervous strain.
Get enough sleep (at least 8 hours).
Eat a healthy diet.
Drink a lot of liquids.
Go in for sports.
Go for walks and breathe fresh air.
Take multivitamin and mineral complexes, as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6 preparations, to restore the lack of nutrients in the body.
What to do?
What if you have persistent weakness in your arms and legs and chronic fatigue? First of all – to be examined.
If you clearly understand that the cause is overwork and stress, then you need to change your lifestyle.
In order to support the body, you can take the following drugs:
Fish oil – contains Omega-3 acids, which are essential in the body, but are not synthesized by the body itself.
Magne-B6 is a magnesium preparation that replenishes its level. It is necessary for nervous overstrain, overwork, chronic fatigue, and nerve diseases.
Multivitamin complexes ( Vitrum , Supradin , Kvadevit , Duovit ).
Vitamin D3 – sometimes it needs to be taken separately, since weakness can be caused precisely by its lack.
Calcium – if the problem is a lack of calcium, then you need to take calcium supplements.
Be careful: you cannot take multivitamin and mineral complexes in combination with preparations of certain vitamins (for example, together with vitamin D3 or calcium), as an overdose will occur, which is no less terrible than a shortage.
If, after the normalization of the lifestyle and the intake of Omega-3 and vitamins, the weakness in the arms and legs has not passed, this is a mandatory reason to urgently consult a doctor.
Did you know that caries in any person can appear only when there is a combination of three important factors? And as soon as one of them falls out, the risk of caries is reduced to almost zero.You can find out what these factors are and how to properly care for your teeth in our article, which we wrote together with a famous dentist.
And you will also be interested to know what kind of indoor flowers can be practically real disinfectants . They not only release oxygen and purify the air, but also destroy viruses, bacteria and fungi. NASA experiments have proven this.
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90,000 Low back pain radiating to the legs
In itself, lower back pain is unpleasant, but we do not always immediately go to the doctor, considering it a consequence of overload, hypothermia.Indeed, after some time after the “home” treatment, lower back pain may stop. And it is quite another matter when the pain from the lower back radiates to the leg. This is a clear sign of an exacerbation of the disease of the spine, or the appearance of another disease not associated with the spine. In any case, peripheral nerves are involved in the process, which requires a more serious attitude to this symptom.
Most often, the pain begins to give in one leg and is localized both in the buttock and in different areas of the thigh, lower leg, foot, often accompanied by numbness.The place where the pain spreads directly depends on which part of the nerve is under pressure. This can be pressure from the injured spine, a consequence of edema in the places where the nerve passes (tunnel syndromes), direct pressure of the tumor on the nerve, as well as the consequences of a leg or lower back injury.
Diseases of the internal organs located at the level of the lumbar spine can also cause pain in the lower back and leg. Gynecological inflammatory and oncological processes, diseases of the kidneys, urinary tract, duodenal ulcer, pancreatitis, ectopic pregnancy – these and other diseases do not go away on their own. Pain in the legs can be one of the first signs of the disease, and you need to see a doctor for a timely examination and proper treatment.
The clinic “Eleos” has all the possibilities for examination and treatment of diseases. Qualified doctors – a neurologist, therapist, traumatologist, gynecologist – will conduct an examination, diagnose and prescribe treatment, and specialists in the field of physiotherapy, massage, alternative methods of treatment will ensure that doctors’ prescriptions are fulfilled, full treatment, rehabilitation to restore lost functions and return to normal life.
Causes and symptoms – About Palliative
Causes of occurrence
Component or disease
Stages of pain
Nerve recovery after injury
Neuropathic pain is a companion of many diseases. The cause of its appearance can be damage to various parts of the nervous system.
Such damage affects very different levels: from small nerves located deep in tissues, to nerve trunks, plexuses and even parts of the spinal cord and brain. Since a person is laced with nerves, damage to them at any level and area can lead to neuropathic pain.
If you have ever kicked your elbow or a dentist “touched a nerve” with a bur while treating your teeth, you understand what neuropathic pain is. People with chronic neuropathic pain experience this feeling on a daily basis. At the first manifestations, patients describe this pain as uncomfortable sensations, burning, “shooting”.
Neuropathic pain can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including fractures, metabolic disorders, and nerve damage during surgery.Also, it can be caused by a stroke, amputation of a limb, spinal cord injury.
Neuropathic pain occurs as a result of disturbances in the structure and function of the nerve. And it should be said separately about the compression of the nerve, for example, when a benign neoplasm puts pressure on the walls of nearby organs and brings pain due to overstretching of these walls.
Neuropathic pain: stages of development and diagnosis How to determine the cause of neuropathic pain and in which cases it can be treated
Component or disease
Neuropathic pain can proceed as an independent disease or accompany other diseases, for example, diabetes mellitus or coronary heart disease – then the doctors say about the neuropathic component.
Several types of pain can occur simultaneously. For example, neuropathic and nociceptive Xnociceptive Nociceptive pain is the medical term used to describe pain from physical injury. For example, it is pain caused by an injury or during a dental procedure. Most often people experience nociceptive pain. It goes away when the affected part of the body recovers. * together.
If a person breaks his arm, events can develop according to different scenarios.The first case, when a fracture occurs, and a sprain of muscles and ligaments occurs nearby – a person feels only typical nociceptive pain, which he describes as acute, aching and throbbing. Another case is when a nerve bundle is stretched during a fracture or a nerve is torn.
Even when the bone grows together and the person has no external reasons to worry, this damaged nerve may hurt. If the area of damage was large, it is likely that the nerve will remain permanently damaged and the person will be dealing with chronic neuropathic pain.
Terminology of painExplaining the main terms and definitions in the topic of pain
Stages of pain
With damage to the nervous system, pain develops rather slowly and gradually. A typical situation – is the appearance of tunnel syndrome: nerves are compressed in narrow places by tendons, muscles or other structures located nearby. It can happen on the neck, arms, legs due to uncomfortable posture, tight shoes or clothing. Tunnel syndromes often occur in office workers working in the same position at the computer.
Anesthesia by ambulance What to do if the ambulance refuses to go to a person with breakthrough pain
Another situation is irritation of a nerve with a herniated intervertebral disc, which is usually accompanied by aseptic inflammation, edema. At this stage , the nerve is only irritated or slightly compressed, but these influences do not pass without leaving a trace and can cause severe pain and discomfort.
As the disease progresses, the second stage of neuropathic pain occurs.The nerve is compressed so that it ceases to function. In the zone of innervation of the compressed nerve, numbness appears, a person’s superficial sensitivity is disturbed.
The third stage – loss of deep sensitivity. Muscle weakness appears, muscles that are innervated by damaged nerves refuse to work. As a result, muscle atrophy occurs.
You may have heard the phrase “the leg has dried up” or “the hand has dried up” – this, in fact, is muscle atrophy.
When a doctor observes a deficit of nerve functions in a patient, he realizes that an urgent release of this nerve is necessary – decompression. The more time a person is without treatment, the less chances of nerve recovery after decompression. And even if the doctor performs an excellent technical intervention, a person who has endured this pain for a long time can stay with it for life if the nerve does not recover.
“There is no need to endure pain” Head of the branch The First Moscow Hospice named after V.V. Millionshchikova Arif Ibragimov on what patients need to know about pain, painkillers and pain diary
Nerve recovery after damage
The nervous system is a very delicate, delicate and complex structure. Its imbalance is quite simple to cause, and self-healing of this structure is slow, if at all. The regenerative capacity of the nervous system is severely limited, and any nerve damage is difficult to treat.
Most often, doctors are faced with a situation where a complete cure is impossible, and it is only about the control of symptoms, in fact, adaptation to neuropathic pain.In this case, the task is to ensure an acceptable quality of life for a person and relieve pain as much as possible so that a person can sleep, communicate, and lead a social life.
Damage to the nerve, as a rule, leads to its restructuring. Secondary changes occur around the very site of damage, and then further and further affect the overlying parts of the nervous system. If in the early period this pain in the immediate focus of damage is not coped with, then there is a very high risk that the changes will go higher and lead first to peripheral sensitization (a pathological process in the nervous tissue) and then to central sensitization with the formation of a certain level of excitation in the central sensory neurons. …Because of this, weak painful and non-painful stimuli begin to be perceived by the brain as severe pain.
If the focus of damage affects the structures of the brain, in fact, an autonomous, separate disease develops.
Patients have to take drugs all their lives that affect the regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain. Patients with chronic neuropathic pain may lose 1 cm³ of the cerebral cortex per year.
In case of neuropathic pain, a rapid growth of the lesion occurs, and therefore, when the first symptoms appear, you need to consult a doctor, otherwise it is quite difficult to treat it later.
How to treat neuropathic pain Read the article by the algologist Alexei Voloshin about the four main methods of treating neuropathic pain, as well as what targeted therapy and neuromodulation are
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Chronic pain: causes and manifestations
Many People, including some doctors, think that chronic and acute pain differ only in duration: acute pain is a short-term condition, chronic pain is one that does not go away for a long time.Chronic and acute pain are similar in appearance, but they have a different principle of origin. Algologist Andrey Danilov explains why chronic pain is difficult to treat.
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Reprinting of material on the Internet is possible only if there is an active hyperlink to the original material on the pro website -palliativ. ru
The cause of numbness is usually the so-called. compression neuropathy or nerve entrapment.
There are more than 20 types of neuropathy, most often the problem lies in the carpal tunnel – the space between the bones of the palm and the ligament, which contains the flexor tendons and the median nerve. If it is not elastic, as the pressure increases, the nerve is pinched. If the nerve is severely and for a long time restrained at any level (palm, elbow, shoulder), there may be disturbances in the sensitivity of the skin and mobility, because some of the nerve fibers die.As the disease progresses, pain and numbness spreads throughout the arm. This problem usually occurs in people with repetitive strenuous work, which overexerts the palm and contributes to the pinching of the nerve. For example, people working in sawmills, on a conveyor belt, on a computer. A feeling of numbness and pain most often occurs at night, depriving a person of sleep.
For a long time working on a computer, an infringement of the ulnar nerve may appear, more often on the left hand. A characteristic sign is numbness of the little finger, sometimes a feeling of freezing, discomfort on the inner surface of the forearm.There is usually no pain at first, so patients come to a doctor late.
Numbness of the hands can be one of the symptoms not only of the carpal tunnel, but also of other serious diseases.
If both arms and / or both legs become numb, it may be polyneuropathy or some other pathology . Polyneuropathy means that many nerves are involved in the disease process, usually affecting the periphery – palms, fingers, feet, legs. Only fingers can go numb, maybe the whole palm and arm up to the shoulder.The same is with the legs – only the foot can go numb or up to half of the lower leg. Polyneuropathy also manifests itself in the form of pain, a burning sensation, like “restless legs” syndrome, in which a person cannot sleep at night because of the search for a comfortable place for the legs.
If the whole arm or leg becomes numb, it may not be peripheral polyneuropathy, but damage to nerves and plexuses of nerve roots .
If at first the numbness is short-lived, but over time it occurs more often, until it goes away at all, the cause is most likely in the central nervous system.It can be a symptom of brain tumor , cerebrovascular accident , precursors of stroke . Therefore, it is important for the doctor to know whether the patient’s numbness is constant or wave-like, associated with static or dynamic load, with a certain time of day , etc.
Feeling of numbness in the elderly is most often associated with transient circulatory disorders, therefore it is necessary to examine cerebral vessels .
This sensation can be a manifestation of a serious illness in young people – for example, multiple sclerosis . Numbness may indicate tumors , aneurysm (expansion) of the cerebral vessels.