Pain Awareness: Where is the Source and Has it Spread?

Pain Awareness: Where is the Source and Has it Spread?

Pinpointing pain is not always easy as our bodies adapt and change to the ways we feel the pain, especially when it is chronic pain. As time goes by, pain can shift, radiate or shift as we subconsciously deal with the pain that we feel. 

Here are ways that pain can seemingly spread from one area to another:

Overcompensation: Think about what happens when you have pulled a muscle in your leg or back. Do you walk or bend over the same as usual? No, our bodies – and mind – work to avoid that particular pain by making adjustments to the way that we move. If this pain is actually chronic pain, we will continually overcompensate, which can cause different issues and stresses on our bodies. That is why we work to discuss all of your issues, as maybe what hurts now is not what hurt originally.

Avoidance: Along the same lines as overcompensation is avoidance. Again, we do not want to feel this pain so we do not move in a way that will cause it. For instance, if you have carpal tunnel in one wrist, you may be apt to try to use the other hand as much as possible. Unfortunately, this can cause the same exact condition in the other wrist from overuse.

Referred pain: The way that pain is processed in the brain can be behind referred pain, which is when pain is felt in places other than the source. Intense pain in one area can crop up in another for reasons unknown. Nerve irritation can also cause referred pain. Those who have sciatica may feel pain that shoots down their legs, but actually is from disc issues in the lower back. Another way to feel referred pain is from trigger points, which occur when muscles are stressed or injured. The points can cause pain to radiate out to other areas of your body.

In today’s lifestyle of constantly using laptops and phones, we more and more are prompting trigger points and pain in the upper shoulder and back area, known as the trapezium. While you may be experiencing jaw pain or headaches, it can really be caused by trigger points located here.

Drilling Down to the Best Treatment

Our physicians at Pain Control Associates will steer our conversations in the right direction to determine the best way to treat and manage your pain. We understand that pain may be confusing and not from where you think it is coming from. That is why from your very first appointment, we really listen to your description of what you are feeling. 

After we determine your pain’s overall profile, we can help design a treatment plan based on what will help you live your best day every day.

Contact us today through our online contact form.


Get Back In Control!
Give Us A Call Today.

Send Us A Message

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please fill out the contact form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Popup Close


Neck Pain

  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylosis (Axial Neck Pain)
  • Failed Surgical Neck Syndrome
  • Biomechanical (Postural) Pain
  • Whiplash

Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
  • Herpes Zoster Radiculopathy (Shingles)
  • Fibromyalgia

Low Back Pain

  • Spondylosis (Axial Back Pain)
  • Compression Fracture
  • Scoliosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Internal Disc Disruption (Annular Tear)
  • Spondylosis (Axial Back Pain)
  • Facet-Mediated Pain
  • Compression Fractures
  • Scoliosis
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis
  • Failed Surgical Back Syndrome
  • Biomechanical (Postural) Pain


  • Cervicogenic Headache
  • Occipital Headache

Work Injuries

  • Prompt diagnosis and treatment
  • Close coordination with case workers
  • Facilitate early return to work

Spinal Interventions

  • IDET
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Racz Catheter Lysis of Adhesions
  • Radiofrequency Facets
  • Sacroiliac Joint Injections
  • Occipital Nerve Blocks
  • Stellate Ganglion Blocks
  • Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks
  • Discography (Lumbar & Cervical)
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Trigger Point Injections

Psychological Treatment

  • Behavioral Strategies to Help Manage Pain
  • Coping Skills
  • Strategies to Improve Sleep
  • Biofeedback & Relaxation Training
  • Management of Depression

Surgical Treatment

  • Neuromodulation (Spinal Cord Stimulation)

Medication Management

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Neuropathic Medications
  • Opioid Medications


  • Electrodiagnosis of nerve-related injuries and disorders

Physical Therapy

  • Skilled Manual Therapy
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Acupuncture