The most common manifestations of referred pain and what to do about them

Health Tips

To date, the mechanisms for the occurrence of synalgia (it is also called radiating pain) have not been precisely established. There are several assumptions about what it can be caused by, and they are very plausible. Radiating pain appears due to the high sensitivity of the nerve fibers of certain areas of the skin and internal organs. Here is a list of places where pathologies of vital organs can give pain. Top down:

Most often, of course, headaches have serious causes. But it can be triggered by eating cold food, such as ice cream. This reaction is due to hypothermia of the receptors on the surface of the pharyngeal mucosa, which are the exit points of the vagus nerve.

Lower jaw

Or rather, its left half. Cardiac pathologies, acute or chronic circulatory disorders or heart rhythm disturbances can respond with pain here. These features are associated with the innervation of the heart muscle at the level of 1-4 thoracic vertebrae. From them, an intense signal is sent along the nerve fiber of the left half of the body, and the pain begins to radiate to neighboring areas.

Right shoulder or collarbone

It may appear when:

  • pneumonia with damage to the pleura,
  • acute appendicitis,
  • an attack of acute cholecystitis,
  • peptic ulcer of the duodenum, stomach.
    These manifestations are also closely related to the level of innervation of the roots of the spinal nerves and the vagus nerve.

Left hand

Everyone knows that the symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. This is logical. Illogical pain signals in the left hand and fingertips, plus our reluctance to take them seriously, lead people to seek help too late. The brain, defending itself, does not react to too strong signals of pain in the heart, it interprets them as pain in the hand.

Small of the back

Pain in the lumbar region, sacrum, spreading along the anterior surface of the abdomen to the pubic region, may be associated with an exacerbation of the degenerative-inflammatory process in the lumbosacral spine. Its cause can also be an inflammatory process in the kidneys, urinary tract, the passage of a stone in the ureter – this is logical. But “knocking on the lower back” can also:

  • cystitis,
  • prostatitis,
  • colon neoplasms,
  • pathology of the uterus and ovaries.


In acute appendicitis, pain may have, perhaps, the most unpredictable localization. We have already said about the right shoulder (do not forget!) Pointwise, it can appear in the buttocks (usually the right), suprapubic region. These features of the irradiation of pain will depend on the location of the appendix.


An exacerbation of a hernia of the lumbosacral region can be manifested by shooting pain along the back of the thigh and lower legs.

In order to get rid of pain, it is important not to carry out symptomatic treatment, but to consult a specialist. Based on the anamnesis, data from laboratory and instrumental complaints, he will be able to determine the cause and true source of pain and prescribe treatment.

Photo: Shutterstock

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