Have you ever wondered how doctors know which nerve is the source of your chronic pain? Many of our patients wondered this too. As it turns out, it’s not as complicated as you may think.
When it comes to the source of your pain, specific nerves in the spine only affect certain areas of your body. These areas are called a dermatome, or an area of the skin that is supplied mainly by a specific nerve. For example, if you are feeling a pain in the your leg, the nerve in charge of that pain will be located in your lumbar (lower) spine or tail bone. Alternatively, if you are experiencing pain in your arm, the nerve affecting that area will not be located in your lumbar spine, but rather in your cervical (upper) or thoracic (mid) spine.
During the diagnosis of your chronic pain, your physician may refer to a dermatome chart assess which nerves in the spine may be causing your pain. At PMIR, we believe patients should be fully informed about their chronic pain. Our dermatome chart gives patients a better understanding of their condition, and what can be done to mitigate their pain.
Feel print to print our dermatome, and bring it to your next appointment with your pain specialist.