Physio Centre


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Guinea Court, 6 Bell Street, Shaftesbury,
Dorset. SP7 8AR.

About Reffered Pain






Referred pain is pain that is felt in a part of the body that doesnt accurately represent where the cause of the pain is coming from. An example is a heart attack, where the pain originates from the heart but can be felt in the arm. The same can happen with back problems.

The back contains cushioning discs between each vertebrae that are there to protect your spine. Sometimes, the disc can bulge backwards and trap the nerve at the point that it leaves the spinal canal. The resulting pressure causes pain. Depending on how much pressure the disc is exerting, the pain can be felt in other parts of the body. This is referred pain and it happens because of the way that nerves are constructed.

Each nerve contains fibres, and those that carry messages the furthest are in the centre, with those that branch off earlier being located outside. Because of this arrangement within the nerve, the more pressure that is exerted on the disc, the further away the pain is felt. Ankle pain caused by a trapped nerve is the result of more pressure on the nerve than pain in the hip.

When nerve pressure is high enough to stop messages conducting properly "pins and needles" will be felt. If the pressure is great enough to stop the nerve working completely, the part of the body supplied by it will feel numb.

See slipped disc and back pain.

TREATMENT Referred pain caused by a trapped nerve in the spine can be treated through removing the cause of the pressure. This is achieved by changing the mechanics, using the MacKenzie Exercise Regime and by reducing inflammation using Connective Tissue Manipulation

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