Spinal problems - referred pain
Referred pain occurs when pain from a particular joint, muscle or tissue is sent to another area of the body. Unlike nerve entrapment, the nerves are not compressed but there are nerve signals sent to an area of the body supplied by the same nerve which controls the affected area.
The most common examples of this are when angina patients suffer left arm symptoms with their angina, or gall bladder patients feel pain in the left shoulder.
In the case of low back and neck pain, referred pain can affect the arms and legs. It can be difficult to differentiate from nerve root pain, sciatica or brachial neuritis. Neurological testing will reveal nothing abnormal. Mid spine pain can refer to the chest of abdomen and mimic internal medical problems.
Usually once the underlying cause is treated, whether by Osteopathy or other means, the referred pain will cease.