Limb pain: Rest Pain and Myalgic Pain

Limb pain: Rest Pain and Myalgic Pain
Photo source: Getty images

Limb pain can occur after too much strain or an injury. However, often it is a symptom of the disease. And it can be related to bones, joints, muscles, blood vessels or the nervous system. Pain in the limbs also occurs during the growth of children and in pregnant women.

Limb pain is related to bones, joints, muscles, blood vessels or the nervous system. By the pain itself, a person can already determine which place and where it hurts, and therefore distinguish the type of pain.

It is usually a symptom of a health problem or a disease. Therefore, under no circumstances should pain in the limbs be underestimated. Whether it is upper or lower limbs.

Many times the cause of the disease may be outside the aching limb.

Pain in the limbs from the joints

Although joint pain is a separate pain, it manifests itself in the limbs. If it concerns the joints of the limbs, it can almost certainly be said that it is a local disease, i.e. directly at the site of the pain in question.

Often it is various inflammations, infections, rheumatic types of joint diseases, or it can also be an accident and post-traumatic pain

For example, arthrosis of the joints. This is the case, for example, with limb pain radiating from the hip. The cause may be coxarthrosis.

In gonarthrosis, the limb hurts in the knee, from there it can radiate below and above the knee.

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In conjunction with other symptoms, it is sometimes possible to talk about more serious diseases, for example, tuberculosis of the joints, and therefore it is necessary to see a specialist.

Bone pain

Bone pain can signal a disease, such as a malignant or benign bone tumour. Alternatively, inflammatory and infectious disease in the bone or the bone marrow.

Of course, if it is a primary pain that has not been caused by an accident, bump or other external factors on the bone of the limb. In this case, a doctor should also be sought. Usually an orthopedist, who on the basis of further examinations, in particular CT and X-ray will determine the specific disease.


A woman is holding her painful foot due to prolonged walking or standing in high heeled shoes
Overuse of muscles, joints, bones and other structures will cause pain. Source: Getty Images

Muscular pain in the limbs often arises from strain and overuse of the muscle of the limb. These pains are also consequential, for example, after overstraining a particular muscle part and mostly disappear within two days.

And pain can occur even for prolonged standing. In this case, it is possible to feel pain in the legs from below, that is, pain in the feet, and also in the shins, that is, in the calves. 

But if they are primary, without an obvious previous and external cause, they may be a symptom of other diseases.

Pain is manifested, for example, also by muscle weakness as well as in influenza, thyroid disease, and certain muscle diseases.

Neurological pain

Nerves are the source of most unpleasant and intense pain. It manifests in various ways, such as dull, stabbing or sharp pain with accompanying symptoms like tingling or pins and needles.

A model of the sciatic nerve (sciatic nerve) and pain in the area (sciatica), radiating pain into the lower limb
Pain in sciatica can radiate to the lower limb. Source.

Short-term inability to control the affected limb may also occur. Some of the problems that accompany these pains can be addressed by rehabilitation or other home treatment with the help of exercise. However, many times these are complicated medical problems that can only be corrected surgically.

A good example is carpal tunnel syndrome which can be removed surgically. There are also different types of neuropathic diseases, such as limb pain in diabetes.

Alternatively, there may be problems caused by the spinal vertebrae. In low back pain, the pain shoots from the spine into the gluteus maximus and the thigh and the lower limb. In spinal root irritation, the pain (sciatica) is present in the sciatic region and it may radiate to the thigh.

Diseases that originate in another part of the body are manifested by the nervous system on the nerve endings in the limbs. Precisely because of the possibility that this is a secondary pain and a symptom of a more serious disease, it is best to seek medical attention.

Blood vessels and limb pain

A great deal of lower limb pain is of the vascular type. In this case, there is either various inflammation in the vessels or other disruption of their patency and functionality. This is manifested by pain in the limbs.

Lower limbs, varicose veins in the shin area, gloved hand, medical exam
Varicose veins of the lower limbs. Source: Getty Images

Often it is a blockage of blood vessels, or atherosclerosis of the arteries when not enough of the necessary substances and oxygen are getting to the lower limbs through the bloodstream. Consequently, they are malnourished and respond with pain.

In addition, the limbs feel fatigue more quickly, especially during physical activity. An example of this is, and in the case of severe disabilities, pain in the limbs when walking.

In addition to the arteries of the lower limbs, veins may also be affected. This visible disease is known as varicose veins, but also varicose veins of the lower limbs.

Similarly, limb pain of vascular origin can also be a symptom due to Berger's disease or due to various blood clots that need to be removed as soon as possible.

Bone pain in children and growing pains

Bone growth is part of childhood and adolescence. Growing pains occur mainly with rapid bone growth. Limb pain in children occurs mostly at rest and during the night. This type of pain is not a symptom of disease.

However, it is necessary to keep track of associated difficulties. Growing pains of the limbs occur independently. It is not associated with other complaints such as swelling of the limbs or general symptoms, which include fever.

Limb pain during pregnancy

In pregnancy, women feel an increased strain on the body. Already during the first months, the total volume of fluid in the body increases. The total weight of the pregnant woman increases.

Thus, in pregnancy it is normal for a woman to gain from 10 to 16 kilograms.

Which is not at all an exaggerated weight gain. These changes put an increased load on the musculoskeletal system, including the joints.

Consequently, limb pain during pregnancy is rather common. The woman needs to rest and keep the legs at a higher level. If the pain is severe and there are other medical signs or symptoms, a medical examination will be needed. 

In general, there is no reason to hesitate to see a doctor if limb pain has no obvious external cause and is not just a reaction to some external and previous stimulus. Sometimes it can be a more serious problem that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.

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