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What is Referred Pain & How Chiropractic Treatments Can Be Used To Address It

What is Referred Pain & How Chiropractic Treatments Can Be Used To Address It, Dixon Chiropractic in Oakland Park, Florida

Referred pain is a type of pain that occurs in a part of body that isn’t injured or damaged; but the pain actually originates from another part of the body.

Why does pain get “referred” to another part of the body?

The human body is like a switchboard – with hundreds of nerves that are wired to each other. Each organ is connected to another via nerves.

Usually, when a part of the body is injured, the brain sends pain signals to that part of the body, through these nerves. But sometimes, because these neural cross-connections, pain signals get “referred” or attributed to another part of the body instead of the intend body part.

It isn’t just the interconnectedness of nerves that cause referred pain. It can also happen because of reflex pain.

When you get hurt, your body automatically initiates a withdrawal reflex, where it stops all muscle contractions and relaxations, which may cause more harm to the injured area. For example, you sprain your calf while playing. The body naturally responds by tightening/contracting the flexor muscles, in order to limit movement in the injured area.

Typically, this reflex lasts only for a little while and the body begins to function normally. But sometimes, this reflex doesn’t stop and the muscles continue to contract for a long period, causing secondary injury and pain of its own. This is called reflex pain and it too can cause referred pain.

Using chiropractic treatments to address referred pain

The good thing is, you don’t need to use any medication or undergo any severe medical procedure to manage referred pain. Chiropractic treatments are extremely effective. Here’s how Dr. Ashley Dixon at Dixon Chiropractic can help you manage referred pain:

·       She will identify the trigger points causing referred pain

Trigger points are areas in the body where there is heightened sensitivity in the muscles. This sensitivity is a result of tiny tears on the muscles, ligaments and tendons. They occur because of trauma or injury to the body. 

Usually, these trigger points cause referred pain. Dr. Ashley Dixon will first identify the trigger point that is causing your referred pain.

·       She could relieve stress and muscle contractions in the trigger points

Once the trigger point is identified, the doctor will use a combination of finger pressure massage and acupuncture to relieve the stress in the trigger point and reduce pain. These treatment sessions are customized based on your response to the pain and Dr. Ashley Dixon will ensure you’re never inconvenienced during these sessions.

·       She could align the spine and reduce muscle spasms

Most times, referred pain and trigger points have their genesis in the spine.

The neurons that carry pain signals from the brain to various parts of the body, actually pass through the synapses in the spinal cord. The withdrawal reflex is also initiated by the same synapses. So, any instance of reflex pain-related referred pain originates from the spine.

This is why, a spinal alignment will also be done to reduce chances of your re-injuring your body.

·       She could provide core stabilization exercises to reduce pain and restore muscular function

One way to ensure that your muscles, tendons and ligaments aren’t vulnerable to injury, is to strengthen them. At Dixon Chiropractic, you could be administered various core stabilization exercises using the McKenzie Method, which can help your muscles heal and reduce referred pain.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today.