Pains and Their Medical Names


Brachial plexus can manifest as shoulder pain, numbness of the shoulder, arm, or hand, tingling, burning, pain, abnormal sensations, with the location varying with the part of the plexus injured. This problem also causes weakness or decreased muscle strength of the arm, hand, or wrist so that a patient is unable to extend or lift the wrist. If caused by a lung tumor compressing the plexus, there may be associated Horner’s syndrome (eye drooping and decreased sweating in the face and small pupil).

Brachial neuralgia is a painful nerve disorder where pain radiates to the arm.
This pain may be constant, sharp, stabbing, burning, shooting, radiating, annoying, debilitating and sometimes it comes and goes just like flashes.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome manifests as numbness, tingling and burning in the hand and fingers. Sometimes there is pain in the forearm and as far as the shoulder and neck. Usually patients only suffer pain in the thumb, index and middle fingers, and the side of ring finger nearest the thumb. Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to be worse at night or first thing in the morning. Shaking the hand can relieve the sensation. In the morning it can feel better after using the hand for a while, but symptoms often come back during the day. Initially the symptoms may be mild or only occur from time to time, but if it gets worse they may become continuous. The hand muscles may become weakened, making it difficult to grip objects or perform other manual tasks. In severe, long-lasting cases the thumb muscles may start to waste away or the median nerve may be permanently damaged.

Causalgia is a rare pain syndrome related to partial peripheral nerve injuries. The peripheral nervous system encompasses nerves that extend from the central nervous system of the brain and spinal cord to serve limbs and organs. Causalgia is usually caused by brachial plexus injuries, involving nerves that run from the neck to the arm.
Severe cases are called major causalgia. Minor causalgia describes less severe forms, similar to reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). RSD includes muscular and joint pain symptoms, and changes in bone density.

Symptoms usually involve burning pain prominent in the hand or foot. Almost any sensory stimulation worsens the pain. Vascular changes include either increased or decreased blood flood due to dilation or constriction of blood vessels. Other symptoms include dry, scaly skin; still joints; tapering fingers; ridged nails; long, coarse hair or hair loss; and changes in sweating.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition.  The key symptom of CRPS is continuous, intense pain which gets worse over time. CRPS most often affects one of the arms, legs, hands, or feet.  Often the pain spreads to include the entire arm or leg.  Typical features include dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected limb or body part, accompanied by intense burning pain, skin sensitivity, sweating and swelling.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition brought on by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. There is a bump of bone on the inner portion of the elbow under which the ulnar nerve passes. This site is commonly called the “funny bone”.  At this site, the ulnar nerve lies directly next to the bone and is susceptible to pressure. When the pressure on the nerve becomes great enough to disturb the way the nerve works, then numbness, tingling, and pain may be felt in the elbow, forearm, hand, and/or fingers.

Neuralgia is caused by motor nerve damage. It manifests as pain or muscle weakness, increased sensitivity of the skin or numbness of the affected skin area.  The pain can occur along the path of a specific nerve or anywhere, usually on or near the surface of the body. It can be sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes (intermittent) or constant, burning pain. Sometimes any touch or pressure is felt as pain. Movement may also be painful.

Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS) is a rare syndrome of unknown cause, affecting mainly the lower motor neurons of the brachial plexus, a group of nerves that conduct signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. PTS is usually characterized by the sudden onset of severe one-sided shoulder pain, followed by paralysis of the shoulder and lack of muscle control in the arm, wrist, or hand several days later. Local pain around the shoulder girdle is the prevalent symptom of Parsonage-Turner syndrome. It is usually sudden and often severe, often awakening persons during the night. The pain worsens progressively for up to two days. The pain is commonly distributed across the back of the shoulder blade and the tip of the shoulder. Pain often radiates down the outer side of the arm and up along the neck, and seldom spreads down as far as the outer side of the forearm, below the elbow.

Pelvic adhesions refer to scarring or tissue repair that occurs anywhere in the pelvis.
In a normal healthy pelvis (or the whole abdominal cavity is lined with a tissue called peritoneum, which also covers the outside of organs located in the abdomen and pelvis. In an non-injured or irritated state, the peritoneum can be likened to slippery cellophane wrap. The organs and structures lying immediately adjacent to each other just slip off each other and do not become bonded together. Given a tissue injury, the healing process initiates a sequence of events that can result in a certain tissue becoming “stuck” to its neighbor, and when this happens certain undesirable results occur. This sticking together is a result of the healing process after any surgery, trauma, infection, or inflammation. Women are subject to numerous pelvic infections, inflammations or traumas, also resulting in pelvic adhesions.

Whatever the cause, pelvic adhesions remain in the body for life, after a healing event. They can bind the delicate reproductive, digestive, or urogenital organs like glue or a straight-jacket, decreasing their function or causing pain.

Trigeminal neuralgia causes facial pain. It develops in mid to late life most frequently affects women older than 50 years. The disease occurs rarely in those younger than 30 years. The condition is the most frequently occurring of all the nerve pain disorders. The pain, which comes and goes, feels like bursts of sharp, stabbing, electric-shocks. This pain can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. The pain comes from one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve-the major carrier of sensory information from the face to the brain.
There are three branches of the trigeminal nerve: the ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular. The pain of trigeminal neuralgia occurs almost exclusively in the maxillary and mandibular divisions. The maxillary nerve runs along the cheekbone, most of the nose, upper lip, and upper teeth. The mandibular nerve affects the lower cheek, lower lip, and jaw. In almost all cases (97%), pain will be restricted to one side of your face.

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