Typical arm pain press, sting or pull. They can appear suddenly or remain steadily increasing. They are often accompanied by inflammation-related swelling. The affected region is partly warm.
Patients can usually only use their arm to a limited extent. Sometimes sensory disturbances or even paralysis occur. The causes of arm pain range from problems with bones and joints (for example osteoarthritis, arthritis, gout, rheumatism) to problems with muscles (muscle tension), irritation or nerve damage (carpal tunnel syndrome) and circulation problems (thrombosis).
Pain from the shoulder to the little finger is most often caused by the cervical spine, which is why physicians refer to this brachialgia as vertebragen.
In the so-called shoulder-hand syndrome, on the other hand, there is pain in the individual joints:
Patients suffer pain even if they keep their arms still. The pain increases under stress. The exact location of the cause of pain is often difficult. Sometimes joint pain is accompanied by disorders of the vegetative nervous system: People affected report feelings of cold, cyanosis (violet to bluish discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, lips and fingernails) and sweating.
Risk of confusion: shoulder-hand syndrome versus Sudeck’s disease
Shoulder-hand syndrome occurs with similar symptoms to Sudeck’s disease (bone atrophy), named after the Hamburg surgeon Paul Hermann Martin Sudeck (1866 to 1945), who described it at the beginning of the 20th century, more precisely in 1900.
Sudeck’s disease (Sudeck’s dystrophy) is an inflammation of the connective tissue of the limbs, often due to an injury caused by an accident. For example fracture (fracture), contusion, bruising, compression, but also burns, wounds due to surgery or local infection (abscess). According to experts, it does not depend on the severity of the injury, even small causes can lead to Sudeck’s disease, so that it is believed that a cause for the disease is a reflex-like overreaction of the nervous system.
But even those who start physiotherapy after a break due to injury in order to become functional again can sometimes trigger a Sudeck syndrome.
Typical symptoms of Sudeck’s disease are recurring pain (both at rest and during movement), swelling, restricted movement, impaired temperature compensation (initially overheating, then hypothermia), redness and, in the worst case, complete loss of function of the affected limbs after the healing process of the actual injury/wound.
Polyneuropathy: Much-Nerve Disease
The diagnosis of polyneuropathy describes diseases in which the so-called peripheral nervous system is dysfunctional. This includes all nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Pain and sensory disorders (tingling, burning) in the limbs are typical of polyneuropathy. Today, physicians know more than 250 causes that can trigger polyneuropathy. The disease is rarely congenital. The most common causes of polyneuropathies acquired over the course of life are:
medicines, stimulants (alcohol) and poisons (lead, arsenic, thallium, which is found in rat poison)
Infections (Lyme disease, measles, HIV, diphtheria, malaria)