Don't let fear eclipse common sense when it comes to pain!
Updated: Feb 10
Spinal pain can feel like a heart attack?! Yes, it's possible and it’s important to know the difference. Musculoskeletal issues can feel like a variety of conditions, the key is MOVEMENT.
If your symptom (pain, numbness, tingling) is responding to the motion, you may simply have a MSD condition on your hand which, over 80% of the time is an easily resolvable issue!
Fear is a very powerful emotion, and particularly so when concerning musculoskeletal conditions since they can seemingly present themselves as a variety of conditions, some eerily close to major medical emergencies.
Waking up with radiating pain on the left side of the chest, shooting toward your left arm may easily trigger fears of a heart attack, even in someone whose physical health does not indicate a predisposition to such an event. What fear may prevent you from considering is that your pain condition may not only be manageable, but is simple to resolve. Instead, our fear can lead us to make unnecessary emergency room visits, undergo expensive tests and procedures, and even miss workdays in response to our own “fear-based” diagnosis.
Increasingly, there seems to be a “minimalist” trend in the medical community when performing physical examinations. Patients identify an area of pain and are then poked, prodded, and put through expensive tests without truly receiving a cause and effect analysis. This kind of examination is ineffective because it does not address the likelihood that the body region in which the symptom (i.e. pain) is presenting itself, is not the true source of the issue.
An overwhelming number of symptoms have spinal origins, meaning the repetitive movements and sustained positioning of the joints in the spine can lead to symptoms which may or may not be local in the spine. These spinal symptoms could also peripheralize into the arms, legs, hands, feet, and even as headaches in the patient. This lack of understanding can often lead to misdiagnoses, and for the patient, can end up being the beginning of a chronic condition.
Most people have heard of sciatica and understand that the spine can cause pain that radiates all the way down the leg leading to numbness, tingling and weakness. What most people do not recognize or correlate is the possibility for stand-alone knee pain to be a result of a lumbar spine issue, stand-alone shoulder pain being generated from the cervical spine or chest pain presenting as a heart attack generated from the thoracic spine.
By performing a very simple movement analysis, you can quickly and accurately identify whether the radiating pain on your left side is a symptom of a heart attack, or something much less threatening. One “clue” is that heart attacks do not lead to motion loss, and will not worsen or improve based on movement. If pain is increasing or decreasing based on how you are moving, the root cause is more likely a mechanical malfunction in your joints than an issue with your hearts ability to pump blood. Such mechanical conditions are rapidly resolvable with the correct directional/loading strategy and do not require an emergency visit to the ER.
When these symptoms present themselves for no medically apparent reason, before you let fear control your impulse, first rule out the chance that it may only be a musculoskeletal disorder and perform a simple cause and effect movement test.
We provide these instructions free of charge on the JointStrong for Pain relief Mobile App or on our website at JointStrong.com. If you have questions about any of the material presented, you can always contact us breaching out via email, giving us a call or by connecting with us on ay of our social media platforms.
**The JointStrong assessment is a quick and accurate way to rule out musculoskeletal conditions, but for individuals with a significant cardiac history or other red flags, it may be appropriate for you to consult your physician immediately as opposed to an individual with no past cardiac history.**
JointStrong® is a musculoskeletal prevention and wellness program embedded with the intelligence gathered from over 600K patient encounters, and is designed to resolve the majority of back, neck, and joint conditions through its integrated self-assessment module that builds treatment plans specific to the users’ condition.
Start rethinking your pain and care with JointStrong® today and move from Healthcare to Self-Care!