Often, after heavy physical labor or sports training, a person notices that his arms and legs hurt. If such a condition is associated with overwork or fatigue, the pain usually subsides after a few days. But it happens that such discomfort regularly worries a person, and it can appear regardless of physical activity. In this case, the pain may be caused by serious health conditions that require treatment.
The appearance of joint pain - arthralgia - can be observed against the background of general well-being. Painful sensations appear, as a rule, after excessive physical exertion and can be observed in pregnant women. Recently, complaints of joint pain in children, caused by the rapid development of the musculoskeletal system, have become more frequent.
In other cases, joint pain is a symptom of a pathology, a signal of an inflammatory or destructive process, an autoimmune disease. For the comprehensive treatment of the joints, it is important to determine the root cause of the onset of pain.
General description of the problem
Pain in the legs and arms is a fairly common phenomenon. Such a problem is usually not related to age, even children and adolescents often suffer from such sensations. In them, this is usually associated with rapid growth or increased physical exertion. And in adults, regular pain in the limbs can be caused by various diseases.
Such pain can come from any part of the limb. Most often, the feet on the legs hurt, because they are under the greatest stress. The knees, calves and hip joint can also be affected. In the hands, the pain is mainly localized in the forearm and shoulder. But often such sensations occur in the hands, preventing a person from performing normal work.
Bones, joints, muscles can hurt. Often the problem appears due to impaired blood circulation and tissue nutrition. Sometimes the discomfort is also transmitted through nerve fibers from other parts of the body. Such radiating pains can appear in diseases of the spine, myocardial infarction, renal or biliary colic. In this case, the pain appears on the right or on the left, depending on the affected organ.
Such pain is usually mild, people describe it as a feeling of pain, discomfort. Pain can occur only during movement and subside at rest or constantly bother a person.
Please note: if the pain is not associated with physical activity or is accompanied by additional symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
Without treatment, this pain can become chronic and lead to reduced performance or even disability. It is especially important to consult a doctor if pain in the limbs occurs simultaneously with other symptoms. It can be fever, weakness, chills, nausea. Usually, this condition appears with serious pathologies that require immediate treatment.
The most common cause of aching pain in the limbs is ordinary fatigue. Most often they appear the day after sports training. But this may be after working in the countryside, carrying heavy loads, doing general cleaning or outdoor activities. This usually occurs in physically untrained people.
Such pain is called krepatura. They don't just appear. Most often, pain is the consequence of microtrauma to muscle fibers. If this happens often, they do not have time to heal, and inflammation appears. As a result, the blood supply to the tissues may be disturbed, ischemia develops. Intense workouts can also lead to sprains and tears of muscles or ligaments. All of these factors usually cause pain that lasts 3-5 days. But the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles cannot be the cause of such prolonged pain, it disappears within a few hours.
But there are more serious reasons for this problem. There are several groups of pathologies that can cause painful sensations in the legs and arms. They are different in the mechanism of formation and localization. But they have one thing in common: one of the manifestations is pain in the limbs.
What diseases can provoke the appearance of this symptom:
- pathology of blood vessels and veins, usually of the lower extremities;
- Infectious diseases;
- poisoning and other conditions that cause intoxication of the body;
- inflammatory pathologies of the joints, muscles, nervous tissues;
- degenerative joint and bone diseases;
- autoimmune pathologies;
- hormonal disturbances;
Diseases of blood vessels and veins are quite common. They are found in men and women of different ages. These are most often varicose veins. At the same time, the legs hurt, heaviness is felt, and convulsions may appear. Gradually, the dilated veins become visible through the skin. Thrombophlebitis and thrombosis are also common with age, and symptoms may include severe stabbing pain in a leg or arm. Atherosclerosis of the vessels can also cause their blockage, which is the source of painful sensations, mainly of pressure or constriction, aggravated by movement.
Rarer vascular conditions include:
- obliterating endoarteritis;
- embolism of the main arteries;
- Raynaud's disease;
- arteriovenous dysplasia.
In case of impaired blood circulation, in addition to pain in the arms and legs, numbness, a feeling of runny goosebumps and cold extremities often appear. The muscles weaken, the fingers swell, it becomes difficult to move and objects fall from the hands. If the small vessels in the extremities are affected, blue or purple spots may appear on the skin and the nails turn blue.
Attention: it is especially dangerous if the pain in the left arm is accompanied by shortness of breath, weakness, heaviness in the chest. It could be a sign of myocardial infarction.
Pathologies associated with circulatory disorders include prolonged immobilization. And this does not only happen with forced immobility after an injury. Blood circulation can be disturbed due to prolonged sitting in one position, for example, when traveling or during sedentary work.
Very often hands and feet suffer from viral diseases. Such sensations are considered a classic flu symptom. They are associated with the fact that to fight infections in the body, special substances are formed - prostaglandins. They cause a rise in temperature and pain. Also, such pain can be associated with intoxication and fever that accompany infectious diseases.
Most often, pain in the limbs occurs with influenza, SARS, bronchitis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis, rubella, chickenpox. Such sensations can be a symptom of borreliosis, botulism, paratyphoid, salmonellosis, cholera and many parasitic diseases.
Poisoning often causes pain in the muscles of the arms and legs. This is due to cell death, which occurs when toxins or poisons enter the body, for example, a large amount of alcohol, an overdose of certain drugs. This often happens with food poisoning. Pain in the limbs accompanies nausea, abdominal pain and intestinal disorders.
Poisoning also occurs with the bites of ticks, other insects, snakes. In this case, convulsions, allergic manifestations and respiratory failure may occur. And ticks are often carriers of infectious diseases, the first manifestations of which are pain in the limbs.
People over the age of 45 often suffer from joint pain in the arms and legs. A person's limbs are constantly in motion, so the joints wear out. And with age, metabolic processes slow down, which negatively affects the state of articular cartilage and other tissues. Therefore, pathologies such as arthritis, arthrosis, gout are often encountered. They can affect any joint of the limbs. With osteochondrosis or spondylarthrosis, in addition to the spine, the arms or legs can also hurt.
With all these diseases, it hurts the joints of the arms and legs, the pain can spread to the surrounding muscles and other tissues. For example, osteoarthritis mainly affects the large joints. But the pain can be felt in the bones and muscles located next to them. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the finger joints. Pain does not only occur during exercise. It is felt even at rest, and can spread to the palms, wrists, forearms.
In some diseases, the bones of the arms and legs are affected. At the same time, a person experiences painful sensations that prevent him from leading a normal life. This occurs with osteomyelitis, osteomalacia or osteoporosis. These pathologies are associated with an infection of the bone tissue or a lack of calcium in it.
Pain in the muscles
This is the most common reason for these feelings. Pain in the muscles can appear with overstrain, after injuries, with myositis. Under the influence of adverse external factors, the muscles become inflamed, sometimes ischemia occurs due to circulatory disorders. In this case, the so-called "trigger points" appear, that is, areas of increased pain. The pain can be aching, weak or sharp, excruciating. It is localized in one place or can spread to all members. This often results in muscle weakness.
This condition is called myofascial pain syndrome. It can occur after increased physical exertion, when the right leg or arm usually hurts more. The cause of pain can be wearing uncomfortable shoes, abnormalities in the development of the skeleton, scoliosis, prolonged immobilization after injury or illness. In addition, this condition often accompanies people of certain professions. For example, office workers, tailors, hairdressers have pain in the right hand.
If muscle pain occurs due to hypothermia or infection, it is called myositis. Pathology is accompanied by quite severe pain. In this case, the temperature may rise, the limb swells. Polymyositis is accompanied by painful weakness, increased fatigue.
Similar painful sensations can be a symptom of many other pathologies. Weakness and pain in the limbs often occur with increased blood pressure, sleep disturbances and vegetative-vascular dystonia. The cause of pain can be blood diseases, endocrine pathologies, the growth of malignant tumors.
Very often, such pain is caused by damage to nerve tissue. It can be neuromas, neuralgia or neuritis. Pain in the back of the thigh can be caused by sciatica, and the wrist is often affected by carpal tunnel.
When, after the examination, the doctor does not find the cause of the pain and it lasts for several months, the sick person can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This pathology is quite common, but so far scientists cannot determine what causes it. It is also difficult to diagnose the disease, since neither tests nor hardware diagnostics detect it. Only general symptoms allow to talk about the prevalence of pathology.
Fibromyalgia mainly occurs in women. This is thought to be due to a decrease in the pain threshold. The source of the problem lies in the brain. Often, after intense stress, a person notices that his arms or legs hurt. This usually happens the next morning.
Basically, the discomfort is localized at the level of the shoulder girdle, at the level of the elbows, hips or knees. In addition to pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, the patient experiences weakness, decreased performance, increased fatigue, deterioration of mood and memory. He often suffers from insomnia, depression, he cannot relax, suffers from headaches.
If the limbs began to ache after physical exertion, you can alleviate your condition yourself. To do this, it is recommended to take a relaxing bath and relax. After minor injuries, it is recommended to apply a cold compress to the damaged area. It is advisable to avoid stress for a few days and the pain will soon disappear.
But it happens that all this does not help, the pain lasts for several weeks, and the patient does not know what to do to get rid of the discomfort. The best thing to do is to see a doctor and get tested. After all, only after understanding why the limbs hurt, it will be possible to choose the right treatment.
Important: Some people with such problems start taking painkillers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on their own. But besides the fact that they cause many side effects, they do not always help.
Only a doctor after the examination will be able to determine how to treat the pathology. It depends on what caused the pain, where it is localized, what is its intensity.
Usually painkillers or NSAIDs are used for treatment. For severe pain, the doctor may prescribe injections of anesthetics at the pain projection sites or injections of corticosteroids.
In addition to these drugs, and in mild cases independently, external agents are used. It can be ointments or gels based on NSAIDs, capsaicin, bee venom, essential oils. They have an analgesic, warming and distracting effect, helping to relieve muscle spasms and improve blood circulation.
The composition of the complex treatment of such pathologies also includes other means. Their choice depends on the cause of the pain. For example, in case of joint pathologies, chondroprotectors are prescribed to restore cartilage tissue. Antidepressants help with fibromyalgia.
Muscle relaxants are often used to relieve muscle spasms that may increase or cause pain. To restore blood circulation and nerve conduction, multivitamin preparations are needed, especially those containing B vitamins. Drugs that improve peripheral circulation and accelerate tissue regeneration are also effective.
Often, due to such pains, the mobility of the limbs decreases, the muscles weaken, and the joints lose their elasticity. To restore the functions of the arms and legs, massage and physiotherapy exercises are used. They help restore normal muscle tone, improve joint mobility. And strengthening the muscle corset allows you to avoid such problems in the future.
Pain in the arms and legs is rarely a serious pathology, most often it occurs with overwork. But such pain may indicate the development of certain diseases, which, if left untreated, will lead to complications. Therefore, do not ignore pain that lasts longer than a week. It is better to consult a doctor who will help you determine their cause and prescribe treatment.