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Common Causes of Extremity Pain

Whether it’s shooting pain, sudden numbness, tingling, or a dull throbbing, pain in your limbs, hands, and feet can be debilitating and disruptive. Beyond keeping you from working and living normally, this pain can be a sign of serious underlying problems. 

At Advantage Spinal Dynamics & Innovative Medicine in Meridian, Idaho, Dr. Jamie Ricks can help you get to the bottom of your extremity pain. Whether your pain is due to an injury, sciatica, or neuropathy, we offer cutting-edge treatments that can help.

Here are just a few of the frequent causes of extremity pain that Dr. Ricks encounters. 

What is extremity pain?

Your extremities include your arms, legs, hands, and feet. Pain in these areas can affect just one limb or region or several. Some people have regular pain in their upper or lower extremities, while others may find their pain localized to one side of the body. 

For many people, this pain may begin slowly, starting with mild discomfort and getting worse over time. However, if you feel sudden shooting pain or a sudden loss of sensation, it’s important to speak to our team quickly as it could signal an urgent health condition. 

Generally speaking, the causes of extremity pain can be categorized as overuse, wear-and-tear, neuropathic, and circulatory. 

Overuse and wear-and-tear

Overuse and wear-and-tear injuries, also known as repetitive stress injuries, refer to the accumulated impact of your daily routine on certain parts of your body.

Overuse injuries often result from participating in sports or other physical activities. Examples include shin splints from running and tennis elbow. Usually, the best treatment for this type of injury is to take a break from your training routine and cross-train surrounding muscles instead. 

Similarly, wear-and-tear injuries often refer to injuries suffered as a result of repetitive motions — carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrist, for example, from frequent use of a computer for work. This type of pain usually has a gradual onset and gets worse with activity.


Neuropathy refers to nerve damage that often affects your extremities.

Unlike other types of extremity pain where nerve signals alert you to damage or injuries in your body, neuropathy refers to when the nerves themselves are damaged. This can cause pain signals unrelated to another injury. 

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of neuropathy and can cause tingling, numbness, and a loss of sensation, especially in the feet and legs. Without adequate treatment, this can leave you prone to serious injuries due to the disrupted nerves in your affected limb. 

Similarly, sciatica is a type of extremity pain that shoots down your legs and is caused by problems with your sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, originating in your lower spine and branching down through each leg. 

Circulation problems 

In addition to injuries and nerve problems, circulation problems can cause pain in your extremities. 

Deep vein thrombosis, for example, is a blood clot that can cause pain and swelling in your leg and requires immediate treatment. Similarly, peripheral artery disease and varicose veins can cause pain, numbness, and discomfort as well. 

Whatever may be causing your extremity pain, it’s important to see us if you’re experiencing new, severe, or sudden pain in any of your limbs.

We offer a range of cutting-edge treatments for all types of extremity pain, including laser therapy, regenerative medicine, massage therapy, and chiropractic adjustment.

Pain is a signal, and it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s causing it. If you’re struggling with pain in your extremities, give us a call today at 208-225-4358 or request your appointment online

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