The Signs and Symptoms of Traveling Pain and How Chiropractic May Solve it
Back pain is a common ailment in today’s world, worsened by long hours of physical labor or poor posture from hunching over a desk all day. This pain might also become even worse if it radiates beyond the back, toward other parts of the body.
If you experience back pain that suddenly begins extending outwards toward your arms, hands, legs or feet, you might be experiencing traveling pain. This type of condition can make living a normal life very difficult and may not go away on its own.
At Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV, we work to help patients with traveling pain minimize their symptoms through care for the spine – the place where much of this pain originates.
Do you have traveling pain?
Traveling pain can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, since feelings of pain or discomfort may not always be constant. Usually, traveling pain will result in pain felt along the pathway of a nerve through the body, starting in the spine and moving outwards.
Patients often feel pain in both a section of the spine, as well as in areas corresponding to its nerve root supply. For example, you may feel pain in your neck from within your cervical spine, but also feel pain radiating down your arm and into your hands.
Traveling pain may not always feel severely painful. It can also cause the following feelings in your limbs:
- Muscle weakness;
- Oversensitivity to touch.
The root of traveling pain is most common in the cervical spine, or neck, and the lumbar spine, or lower back. Nerve root injuries are far less common in the thoracic spine, or upper-middle back areas.
Causes of traveling pain
Traveling pain is a type of radiculopathy, a grouping of symptoms caused by compression of a nerve root. Within the spine, nerve roots exit the spinal cord through vertebral gaps called foramina. Nerve roots can easily become compressed or inflamed due to contact with the surrounding spinal discs, vertebrae, muscles, and joints. When this happens, the nerve root may not only be affected, but also the entire length of the nerve to the limb. There are a few common causes of radiculopathy and traveling pain:
- Bulging discs: Bulging discs occur in the spinal discs that sit between the vertebrae and act as a shock absorber. If the spine becomes misaligned or stressed, the disc may shift and bulge into the foramen, touching or compressing the nerve root.
- Herniated discs: Either as a result of spinal disc degeneration or trauma, spinal discs can tear and leak a gelatinous substance from the inner portion of the disc. This substance is inflammatory and can irritate the nearby nerve root.
- Foraminal stenosis: Foraminal stenosis is when the foramen through which the nerve root exits is intruded on because of a bone spur, disc or vertebral shift. With less room in the foramen, the nerve root may become pinched.
The chiropractic solution
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to realign the spine, so each vertebrae and disc sits where it is supposed to, leaving ample room for the nerve roots to exit the spine without becoming compressed, pinched, or inflamed. When you visit a chiropractor because of your traveling pain, they will thoroughly examine your spine to identify the cause of traveling pain and introduce techniques that may help fix it.
Spinal manipulations and adjustments, in particular, may help realign the spine, remove compression on the nerve root, and reduce inflammation. These techniques may be used among other treatments such as hot and cold therapy and physical therapy exercises to strengthen the muscles around the spine for extra support.
The chiropractors at Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV rely on Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) to help treat spinal misalignment and its resulting symptoms. We take an all-encompassing approach to patient wellness that focuses on more than just your spine. Visit us to learn more.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.