Calf Pain Relief
By Mitchell Yass, DPT – Stop the Pain I Want My Life Back
Another patient with pain at the calves is told that the cause of his pain is from stenosis at the spine.
Folks, the idea that all pain results from the spine has to be abolished and discarded. Here is a simple test to prove whether the pain is coming from the spine or the lower leg itself. If the pain is coming from the spine due to stenosis, then the pain at the lower leg would be considered referred pain. This means that the pain being experienced at one location is the result of a tissue in distress in another location. In this case the stenosis at the lower back is causing the pain at the calf region. If this was true then if you wanted to recreate the pain or make it increase in intensity, you would have to press on the spine at the location of the stenosis. I am confident I could have pressed on this fellow’s spine from here to eternity and his calf pain wouldn’t have changed at all.
The other type of pain is called point tender pain. This means that if you press on the tissue where the pain is being experienced and the pain increases, then the tissue you are pressing on is the tissue emitting the pain signal. When I pressed on this guy’s calf, he went through the roof. It was clear that the pain he was experiencing was from a strained calf and not from the stenosis he had at the lumbar spine.
Lay people must become aware of how to differentiate their symptoms. This is my primary goal. Until people learn how to interpret their own symptoms, they will be susceptible to physicians who through ignorance or malice can manipulate the person into getting a surgery that would do NOTHING to resolve their symptoms. This patient happened to also be hunched forward excessively. This puts a load in front of him which the calves have to push through when the patient walks. This load can cause the calves to strain and emit pain. This is another symptom that can be seen in a clinical evaluation that would never be picked up by an MRI. Remember that muscle strains and spasms don’t show up on MRIs.
The use of the MRI to identify the cause of pain has to be eliminated. Clinical evaluations that attempt to make sense of a person’s symptoms is the only way to get the right diagnosis.
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