Recently Reduced Arm Function

What Causes Impaired Arm Function?

Impaired arm function can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose impaired arm function, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "impaired arm function" as a symptom.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Slipped Disc
  • Stroke Risk
  • Brain Tumor

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
seizures
history of anorexia
rapid pulse rate
having trouble concentrating
resolved atypical recent headaches
rapid decline in speaking ability
being blind or nearly blind
recent "don't care" attitude
severe vision disturbances
reduced sense of smell
reduced sense of taste
chronic headaches
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of impaired arm function:
Cause Probability Status
Stroke Risk 98% Confirm
Slipped Disc 17% Unlikely
Brain Tumor 5% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate problems with limbs, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Has your ability to use one or both of your arms declined within the past year for unknown reasons?
Possible responses:
→ No change / reason known / don't know
→ Yes, a little
→ Yes, significantly
→ Yes, I am now almost unable to use my arms
→ I have now all arm function
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate slightly reduced arm function, greatly reduced arm function or inability to use arm(s), The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Brain Tumor

Gradual loss of movement in an arm or leg can indicate a brain tumor.

Slipped Disc

Possible symptoms of cervical herniated disc include arm weakness or loss of arm function.

Stroke

Loss of arm function affects some 85% of those who have suffered a stroke.

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