Arm and Leg Pain
Our shoulder and hip joints are two of our most frequently used joints and are prone to a wide range of possible injuries. Oftentimes people are completely unaware of what caused their pain, maybe it is a weekend warrior who overused the joint in an athletic competition, an unfortunate participant in a car accident, a person lifting too much weight at work or home, or a grandmother who fell asleep holding their grandchild in one position all night. Typically, these situations cause almost an immediate pain or discomfort as a result of muscle, bone, or nervous system damage and irritation.
However, many people have arm and leg pain that develops gradually over time, and are unaware of what may have initially caused it. Vertebral subluxations, arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, and frozen shoulder are the most common causes of pain.
It has also been shown that arm and leg pain is often caused by “referred pain,” where pain in one area moves to another part of the body. This may be best known as the arm pain that is commonly reported during a heart attack. A less common example is the pain that an inflamed gall bladder often causes under the right shoulder blade.
We frequently see patients in who complain of arm and leg pain that is being referred from nerve irritation at the spine. If the spaces where the nerves leave the spine are narrowed due to the vertebrae or disc being out of position, the nerve can become irritated and often produces pain down its entire path. The pain patterns associated with sciatica are a good example of this mechanism.
What Is Causing My Leg Pain?
Due to the complexity of the joints and the vast number of possible causes, it is important that you see someone who is trained in these areas. Typically, your healthcare provider will use a combination of a physical examination and advanced imaging to get to the root cause of your problems. This is done by finding the location of the pain, aggravating or alleviating factors, type of pain sensation, and other symptoms such as swelling, skin changes, and bruising as other tools to assist in the diagnosis.
Can a Chiropractor Help?
As with any condition, you want to start with treating the most common and typical cause of the pain and symptoms first. Misalignment (subluxations) of the vertebrae in the neck and lower back has been found responsible for the vast majority of reported arm and leg pain. When bones or discs are out of position and are unable to move properly, it can cause irritation to the surrounding tissues and nerves.
Many patients are surprised to see how extensively their nerves are spread throughout the body, from the spine all the way to the fingertips and toes. As a result, injuries to the vertebrae in the spine can create the sensation of pain anywhere along arms and legs. Through a careful pattern of treatment, patients at Gulf Coast Chiropractic Clinic have experienced high levels of success through chiropractic treatment. If you or a loved one is experiencing arm or leg pain contact us today to schedule a consultation.