The Way We’re Wired
If you present with pain radiating down the left arm, any health care professional would recognize the urgency of addressing the source of the problem (i.e. your heart) vs. simply treating the symptom (the pain in your arm) – that mistake could kill you. It’s also the reason why Chiropractors focus on the source of your complaint and not necessarily where you feel it.
Referred pain is a sensation that occurs distally from the main problem area. Because of the vast network of nerves that travel from your brain to your body, it isn’t uncommon for patients to feel their symptoms far away from where the actual problem is. Subluxations (mechanical nerve interference) in the low back can radiate pain down the legs, subluxations in the neck can radiate pain to the arm. Sometimes organic dysfunctions can originate from segmental misalignments in your spine as well.
Ultimately, where you ‘sense it’ isn’t necessarily where we need to ‘fix it.’ If your Chiropractor works on a spinal region remote from the area of pain you’re pointing to, it’s not because we’re indifferent to how you feel – it’s because we understand how you’re wired.