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What is referred pain?

Referred pain: What is it and how can I manage it?

What is referred pain?

Referred pain occurs when pain presents in one area but the cause and origin are located elsewhere. This occurs due to sensory nerves being impacted with too high or low a signal being sent through the central nervous system.

The central nervous system sends messages to soft tissue, bones and organs throughout the body, potentially impacting these areas. Referred pain can be reported as; an ache, deep pain, pins and needles, numbness, or as pain in a specific area. Alternatively, you may get referred pain due to muscles or even your organs.

What are the common types of referred pain?

There are common types of complaints which include referred pain, such as; headaches, low back pain and knee arthritis.
Headaches can be referred pain from tight muscles or nerves at the base of the skull, around to the top of the head, temples and the jaw with the symptoms originating from the joints or muscles within the neck.

Experiencing pain in the back of the leg could be due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Alternatively, low back pain can refer into the hip, groin, leg(s) or further up your back.

Arthritic changes occur when cartilage within the joint wears away. For example; within the knee, pain can be referred around the knee or in other areas of the leg due to the exposure of nerves within these areas.

Muscles may refer pain. Typically from trigger points within the muscle belly due to overuse or underuse. This could be because of poor posture, lack of movement or abnormal movement patters. Trigger points have distinctive referral patterns throughout the body.

Organs within the body can also refer pain. This is often described as a deep ache. This pain often won’t have a set pattern and you can experience pain far away from the affected organ. For example; the heart causing pain in the neck and/ or arm.

To help find the cause or to manage your referred pain talk to your physiotherapist at Caboolture physical therapy centre who can help manage your symptoms and answer any questions that you may have.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.
Workplace Ergonomics and your working posture

Workplace Ergonomics 101 – Your working posture

With an increasing number of jobs requiring you to sit in front of a computer for long periods of the day, it is important to address your working posture to protect your spinal health.

Here are a few simple adjustments that you can make to your workstation to help improve and protect your spinal health. Start with: 

  1. Adjusting your seat height so that your forearms can rest comfortably on the desk with your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Support your lower spine with the lumbar support of the chair sitting in the curve of your lower back.
  3. Have the screen/monitor sitting at a suitable height to prevent pushing your chin forward or having to look down to see the screen. (At a minimum, the bottom of the screen should be at eye level or slightly above).
  4. Where possible, try to have documents resting on an angled stand rather than sitting on the desk. This will prevent hunching over to read.
  5. Remember to take short breaks throughout the day. Stand up and stretch, this will assist in managing any lower back pain.

These are just a few strategies to prevent postural issues or spinal pain, our physiotherapists can offer further advice specific to each individual’s needs.

We also offer workplace ergonomic assessments, where our therapists will come to your work and assess your workstation. For more information, or to make a booking, phone one of our friendly staff on 5495 3255.

Below is an example of correct work posture:

Workplace Ergonomics 101

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.
back pain relief

Surprising Conditions Your Physiotherapist Can Help With

back pain reliefMuscle tears, ankle sprains, back pain, headaches and shoulder pain. These are all commonly treated physiotherapy problems and chances are, if you suffer from one of them, you’re either seeing a physiotherapist or putting it off.
Most people know how physiotherapy can help them with common injuries, particularly those involving the muscles and the joints. What you probably don’t know is that your physiotherapist has been trained to treat a huge variety of conditions. Some of them might surprise you.

Respiratory Problems

Physiotherapists are one of the first ports of call to help clear a chest infection, particularly for the very young, elderly and those with chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Your physiotherapist is able to assist with drainage, breathing cycles and physical percussion techniques to help you breathe easier.

Vertigo

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a specific type of vertigo caused by loose micro crystals in the inner ear, resulting in dizziness when the head is turned in different positions. Your physiotherapist can give you exercises to relocate these crystals and regain your balance.
Physiotherapists can also help with habituation exercises for other types of vertigo.

Neurological Conditions

Strokes, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and head injuries are all conditions that your physiotherapist has been trained to treat. In the private practice setting they are particularly helpful at stretching the tight muscles affected and providing specially tailored strengthening exercises.

Incontinence

For one in three women, incontinence is an ongoing problem after childbirth, and one that has a huge impact on quality of life. Your physiotherapist is well versed in teaching pelvic floor exercises, which can help you regain control.

Developmental Delays, balance and Incoordination

For some children, balance and coordination don’t come easily. Your physiotherapist is able to prescribe exercises to assist with improving balance and coordination for people of any age.

More surprising conditions your physiotherapist can help with:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteo- and Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lymphoedema
  • Osteoporosis
  • Falls associated with aging
  • Scar tissue healing
  • Jaw pain
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre – serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.