Can the spine really be causing my leg, hip, arm, or forearm pain? The short answer is yes, your extremity(arms and legs) pain could actually be coming from your spine, even if your neck or back doesn’t hurt! There are many patterns of pain distribution that can occur when our body is damaged or dysfunctional. While some patients have neck or low back pain that coincide with the pain in their extremities, some have no spinal symptoms. That does not mean that the origin of the pain is not spinal.
A study published in 2019 found that patients with symptoms only in their extremities were likely (43.5%) to respond to treatment focused only on their spine. The study also found that the likelihood of extremity pain originating at the spine is much higher if the symptoms are between two joints (between shoulder and elbow, elbow and wrist, hip and knee etc.). The numbers below illustrate the percentage of patients with pain that were successfully treated with spine-focused care.
Arm/Forearm 83.3% Thigh and Leg 72% Hip 71% Shoulder 48%
Elbow 44% Wrist 38% Knee 26% Ankle 29%
If you have pain in your arm or leg and have not been about to find the answers, please come in for an evaluation! We will get to the bottom of your pain and give you the tools to manage it!
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Rosedale R, Rastogi R, Kidd J, Lynch G, Supp G, Robbins SM. A study exploring the prevalence of Extremity Pain of Spinal Source (EXPOSS). J Man Manip Ther. 2020 Sep;28(4):222-230. doi: 10.1080/10669817.2019.1661706. Epub 2019 Sep 2. PMID: 31476129; PMCID: PMC8550529.