by Alan Jordan
Most people will have heard that the symptoms of a heart attack include shooting pains down the left arm. This type of pain is being ‘referred’ from the heart, as the heart is the true cause of the pain and not the arm itself. Pain may also be referred from the spine to other areas of the body. However there are many conditions that can cause pain in these areas, which is why it is important to determine that the issue is referred pain.
Symptoms of Referred Pain
Referred pain from the spine is generally felt in the lower back and may radiate into the groin, buttocks and upper thighs. However the pain will rarely radiate below the knee. Referred pain also varies widely with regards to severity, intensity, locality and quality. Generally it tends to be an achy pain that is dull and migratory (moves around). The pain may also come and go and usually varies in intensity.
Many patients may believe that their condition is a pinched nerve or sciatica. However pain caused by sciatica tends to be localised, whereas patients with referred pain are usually unable to pinpoint the pain precisely. The video below explains in detail how sciatica differs from referred pain.
Area of Pain Distribution
Diagnosing Referred Low Back Pain
We have a wide variety of spinal pain specialists at the Broadgate Spine and Joint Clinic, which enables us to perform all the necessary investigations to diagnose the cause of your referred pain and then to establish, and provide, the best treatment. Give us a call on 020 7638 4330 or email [email protected].
More information about pain from the spine can be found at Broadgate Spine’s Journals.