by Alan Jordan
Most people are aware that shooting pains down the left arm and pain in the jaw are possible signals of a heart attack, despite the fact that the heart isn’t located near to the jaw or to the left arm within the body. This is an example of referred pain, which is also known as reflective pain, and simply applies to pain that is felt somewhere in the body not located in the area of the pain stimulus.
Commonly Observed Spinal Pain that Originates from Non-Spinal Organs
A) Heart problems refer pain to the upper chest and left upper limb
B) Liver and gall bladder problems refer pain to the tip of the shoulder blade
C) Lung conditions refer to the upper back region
D) Pancreas and stomach conditions refer pain to the mid back region
E) Kidney problems refer pain to the lower mid back region
There are numerous theories on how the mechanisms of referred pain actually work. The International Society for the Study of Pain has devised a series of theoretical models, all of which attempt to explain the process. The general belief is that pain fibers from the organ in question return to the spinal segments and initiate pain signals which the Central Nervous System incorrectly perceives as coming from the spinal segments themselves.
Theories on the mechanisms of referred pain include:
- Convergent-Projection, Convergence-Facilitation
You can find more information on these theories in our journal.
Diagnosing Referred Pain
Our chiropractors understand that spinal pain may actually be referred pain, and as such the result of another issue within the body. Patients that attend the Broadgate Spine & Joint Clinic will have access to a uniquely large variety of specialists “on hand” who can provide second opinions and, if necessary, request further tests in order to obtain a firm diagnosis. If you are experiencing back pain then our team of experts will be able to help you, simply call 020 7638 4330 now or email [email protected].