That’s the basic message I give my patients when they ask why they are hurting. What I mean by this is that the source of the pain is very often not at the site of the pain.
A thorough examination can often quickly identify the various “pain generators” that may be sending, or “referring”, pain from a distant area.
Types of referred pain include myofascial (muscle) trigger points. A common example would be headache felt in the forehead or eye that originates at the top of the shoulder.
Another very common presentation is pain from the low back and hip that radiates to the thigh or even the foot. This can mimic a disc lesion and may result in unnecessary testing and treatment unless a closer look is made to locate this trigger point.
Of course, bulged discs can put pressure on nerves causing pain to radiate down the arm or leg. It does so in a pattern determined by the nerve affected. In addition to this, the spinal joints themselves, when stuck or inflamed, have their own distinct patterns of referred pain.
Postural and muscle imbalances underlie all musculoskeletal pain and arthritic degeneration. Addressing the causes directly with physical treatment and indirectly via simple postural training and lifestyle modification is the way forward, and can often result in rapid pain reduction.
Dr. Huntington practices Chiropractic, Biomedical Acupuncture and Physiotherapy in Oracle, Az. 520-896-9844 firstname.lastname@example.org.