Radiating Nerve Pain and Referred Pain
Dr.Harlan Sparer, Tempe Chiropractor
Radiating pain comes from one of two sources. In the first case, a nerve is irritated, typically from compression as it exits the spine due to a subluxation. This compression occurs when the disc bulges into the narrow window through which the spinal nerve exits. The resultant irritation to the surrounding tissue causes inflammation which compresses the spinal nerve. The symptoms then radiate along the course of the nerve actually irritated. The second kind of radiating pain occurs more typically in chronic cases. The point of origin of the pain no longer sensed. Another location along the course of the nerve appears isolated as a source of pain and appears at times to be the cause of the problem. The source of the pain is usually at the spinal level, and when the subluxations are corrected, the symptoms miraculously pass.
Referred pain is sometimes confused with radiating pain. Referred pain is often caused by organ malfunction and is expressed as a nerve pain. It is actually caused by “crossed wires” that trigger a different pain. A notable example is radiating pain down the left arm towards the pinky or Jaw and neck pain caused by a heart attack. In this case, differential diagnosis is indicated to determine the true cause of the symptoms.