What Is Referral Pain?

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CHARLOTTE – We’ve all had that feeling where our muscle hurts in one area but the source of it is another area. Let’s take neck pain. Pain that might go to the back of the head and the side of the neck might not originate at the back of the head nor the side of the neck. In the case of my one client, it might very well be a pain that is caused by the levator scapula muscle. This muscle is found between the scapula of your shoulder and your spine. It is connected to the spine in several places and runs up your neck. For pain in your neck, I could very well massage this muscle and not touch the neck area at all.  This is an example of referral pain.

Another example is your gluteus minimus. It is attached to your hip and is a sort of fan-shaped muscle that makes up part of your buttocks area. Guess where that pain might refer? It might cause pain down your leg, irritating your tensor fasciae latae (TFL), which is the muscle that runs from your hip down the side of your leg to outside your knee. The pain might run down and irritate your quads, your hamstrings, and down to your calves. The glute min is sometimes called the pseudo sciatic muscle because it mimics sciatic type pain.

Crazy, right? Work with your massage therapist to decide what the best step is to in getting your pain under control.

-Lisa Lane is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist (#13098) based in Mint Hill. To book please visit our website at www.ncmassagesanctuary.massagetherapy.com and click book appointment.

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Lisa Lane
Lisa Lane is owner and lead therapist at Massage Sanctuary in Mint Hill. She specializes in pain management and is certified in neuromuscular techniques. Lisa lives in Mint Hill and is currently President of the local chapter of the Kiwanis Club. She is an active member of the community and enjoys travel, family time and trying to be the best photographer ever with her camera phone.