PainSci notes on Chan 2011:
A report on two cases of cervical spinal cord impingement causing leg pain — both examples of pain at a location unusually remote from a subtle lesion (referred pain) — both successfully treated surgically. Notably, both cases involved previous lumbar spine problems.
Interestingly, such distant referred pain is tangentially relevant to the hypothetical phenomenon of cervical spinal cord irritation causing fibromyalgia (see Using Dynamic MRI to Diagnose Neck Pain).
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Sciatica-like leg pain can be the main presenting symptom in patients with cervical cord compression. It is a false localizing presentation, which may lead to missed or delayed diagnosis, resulting in the wrong plan of management, especially in the presence of concurrent lumbar lesions. Medical history, physical findings and the results of imaging studies were reviewed in two cases of cervical cord compressions, which presented with sciatica-like leg pain. There was multi-level cervical spondylosis with cord compression in the first patient and the second patient had two levels of cervical disc herniation with cord compression. In both cases, there were co-existing lumbar lesions, which could be responsible for the presentation of the leg pain. Cervical blocks were diagnostic in identifying the level responsible for the leg pain and it was confirmed so after cervical decompressive surgery in both cases, which brought significant pain relief. Funicular leg pain is a rare presentation of cervical cord compression. It is a referred pain due to the irritation of the ascending spinothalamic tract. Cervical blocks were successful in identifying the cause of funicular pain in our cases and this may pave the way for further studies to establish the role of cervical blocks as a diagnostic tool for funicular pain caused by cord compression.
- “Using Dynamic MRI to Diagnose Neck Pain: The Importance of Positional Cervical Cord Compression (PC3),” Andrew Holman, PracticalPainManagement.com.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- No Added Benefit of Combining Dry Needling With Guideline-Based Physical Therapy When Managing Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Stieven 2020 J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.