Internal Organ Trauma and Somatic Complaint

Pain & Injury on November 16th, 2010 No Comments

My 18 year old nephew was in a bad dirt bike accident a little over 2 weeks ago which resulted in broken ribs, punctured lung, liver laceration, numerous abrasions, stitches in his lip because he bit through it and an unwanted case of pancreatitis. We have all been worried sick over this kid and it seemed like every time he turned around there was another problem and another painful procedure to endure. I wont comment on the medical care here, but just know that if you have a loved one hospitalized someone should be there to advocate and monitor best care practices if you want to avoid the worst case scenario from happening.
Organs have pain referral patterns just like trigger points, my nephew consistently complained of shoulder pain. Interestingly enough the liver, lung and pancreas all refer into the shoulder region.  I provided gentle massage therapy to him for 3 days in a row, although the massage felt good it did not decrease his pain as much as one would think. The soft tissues of his neck and back did change from extremely hypertonic, fibrotic and tender to less tender, soft and mobile.
The point here is, don’t be disappointed if the somatic complaint which you may think is all about the musculoskeletal system does not go away with massage if the person has internal organ damage. I believe that knowing the various organ pain referral patterns is as important as knowing the musculoskeletal system if the individual has suffered organ trauma or has a disease entity in their organs. My experience tells me that the shoulder pain will probably subside when the organs have regained balance and have healed completely.

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