Shoulder, arm or leg pain - When your big
brother slugs you in the arm, you expect your arm to be sore. But
it is not uncommon for people to come into the Chiropractor’s
office with arm or leg pain and have no idea about the source of
the pain. This pain of unknown origin may be a constant pain, or
one that comes and goes depending upon the body’s position.
Perhaps it is a pain that comes on when you sleep at night, or
try and sleep.
These pains may be coming directly from a tissue or joint problem
in the arm or leg. But they may also be coming from problems in
the neck (arm pain) or the low back (leg pain). You may have a
neck or low back problem that is causing arm or leg pain, but is
not causing neck or low back pain. At least not pain of which you
are aware. During examination of the neck or back, your
Chiropractor may find areas of the spine that are very sensitive
to even the lightest of touches, and yet you do not feel any
discomfort from those areas without that touch.
Chiropractors usually refer to these sensitive areas that are
causing arm or leg pain as “Subluxation”. Simply put, Subluxation
in Chiropractic terms means one or more vertebral levels that is
not functioning properly and is therefore irritating or
preventing proper nerve function. This improper nerve function
may be expressed as arm or leg pain if it is irritating a nerve
that expresses such pain. For example, the Flexor Hallicus Longus
muscle is responsible for flexing your big toe. If you stimulate
those nerve fibers, anywhere along the nerve fibers which cause
that muscle to flex the big toe, the only thing that nerve can do
is tell that muscle to flex the big toe.
This is a simple explanation of how stimulating
pain fibers for the leg at the vertebral level, and not
necessarily at the point of the pain, how that stimulation can
only cause leg pain. If the fibers that cause low back pain are
not stimulated or irritated, no low back pain is felt.
But what about the sore spot in the back from the touch of your
Chiropractor? That is tenderness in the joint tissues and muscle
fibers that are associated with the vertebrae of that particular
area of your spine. Because the vertebrae are not functioning or
moving properly, muscles work differently and harder to maintain
mobility. The joint tissue is moved differently, or perhaps very
little motion at all happens at that joint level. These things
all lead to tenderness at that spinal level.
By performing a simple Chiropractic evaluation and taking a
complete history, Dr. Routley can help you determine the real
cause of your arm or leg pain. “I have seen many people in my
office who have undergone numerous and expensive studies (X-ray,
MRI, or EMG (Electromyelograph), or undergone extensive physical
therapy and tried several expensive medication.”, says Dr.
Routley. “Often times I find these people have a Subluxation, we
correct it and establish a home therapy program aimed at
strengthening the neck or back, and within a few visit’s the arm
or leg pain is diminished or completely relieved. It is
unfortunate so many people seek Chiropractic care as a last
resort and end up spending lots of time in pain, and lots of
money for nothing.”, concludes Dr. Routley.