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Common Symptoms of Extremity Pain

Pain in the Extremities

Extremity pain refers to the soreness, throbbing, shocks, and other uncomfortable sensations one can experience in one's hands, arms, feet, or legs. Extremity pain can be sourced to a wide variety of factors – arising from small or minor issues to more severe – and often, yet to be diagnosed, underlying conditions. Many of the common causes of extremity pain – those due to minor injuries, misaligned joints, muscle imbalances, etc., can be effectively treated or managed with noninvasive chiropractic and complementary methodologies, which are noted below.

Common Symptoms of Extremity Pain

While each person will likely experience pain in the extremities distinctively, most describe various combinations of the following symptoms:

  • Diverse levels of pain – ranging from dull aches to sharp stabbing sensations
  • Tingling and numbness – which may lead to weakness in the extremities
  • Swelling/Inflammation & Redness
  • Reduced Flexibility
  • Limited Range of Motion

Common Causes of Extremity Pain

The more common occurrences of pain in the extremities, like arthritis, are more likely to happen to members of a defined age group; however, many of the factors that contribute to extremity pain have the potential to transcend age. Consider the following:

Muscle Strain or Overuse

Misalignment of the body’s mechanics, repetitive motion, or excessive activity are examples of movements that can cause muscle strain, which can lead to regional or localized extremity pain.


Any kind of fall that results in a sprain, strain, or fracture can cause intense pain in the extremities.

Nerve Compression

Conditions that are caused by an irritated or inflamed nerve (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist) generate a variety of symptoms that include pain, discomfort, tingling, and numbness in the affected extremities.


Two types of arthritis - osteoarthritis and rheumatoid, although caused by remarkably different factors, can cause joint inflammation that leads to pain in the hands and feet.


This chronic pain disorder causes extensive pain throughout the body, including extremities.

Circulatory Conditions

There are numerous causes of poor blood circulation, any one of which can cause a cold or cramping that leads to pain in the extremities. 

Peripheral Neuropathy (PN)

This condition refers to damaged peripheral nerves – the part of the nervous system that relays sensory information to the brain. PN, which may develop from a number of causes, including alcohol abuse, diabetes, specific medicine, and more, may cause extremity pain, tingling, and numbness.


Infections (i.e., cellulitis, etc.) and inflammatory conditions (i.e., tendinitis) can cause both swelling and localized discomfort. 

Chiropractic Treatment Options for Extremity Pain

A chiropractor encourages your natural healing processes using these techniques -

Joint Manipulations and Adjustments

Chiropractors employ manual and instrument-assisted adjustment techniques to extremity joints – in the shoulder, knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist, which seek to restore proper alignment.

Soft Tissue Methodologies

Techniques like massage, myofascial release, and stretching can reduce muscle tension and enhance circulation to the affected extremities. This might also include hot or cold therapy.

Therapeutic Exercise and Stretching

These types of exercises – to increase one’s flexibility, stability, mobility, and strength, are designed to enhance the overall functioning of the impacted extremity.

Posture & Ergonomics

Chiropractors may provide guidance on proper posture and ergonomics to help prevent further strain (and pain) on the extremities. Orthotics or braces may help to mitigate strain and support the affected extremity.

Other Therapeutic Models

Supplementary modalities – like electric stimulation, laser therapy, or ultrasound, offer additional ways to reduce pain and promote healing.

If you experience persistent or severe pain in your extremities, it's essential to seek an evaluation from a qualified professional to ensure you receive appropriate treatment.

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Dr. James Fraser

Doctor of Chiropractic