Updated: May 31
Everyone has felt a twinge of pain in their feet or hands before, but it usually does not cause alarm. But, nerve pain is different. If you have nerve pain, it can be excruciating and leave you unable to work, enjoy certain activities, and perform your basic daily tasks. Unfortunately, this means that many people with nerve pain also reduce their quality of life.
But there are ways to help prevent this from happening. If you've experienced nerve pain, knowing what causes it and how a Manhattan pain management specialist can treat it is important. Here are 7 signs that may indicate that you are living with nerve pain.
1. You're in constant pain
Nerves are bundles of fibers that carry messages between the brain and body. When there is damage to a nerve, it can cause pain and other symptoms. Nerve pain can occur anywhere in the body, but it's most common in the lower back and legs.
Nerve pain is a condition that causes people to experience sharp, shooting pains in the limbs or torso. The pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily activities and makes it difficult to sleep. There are many different types of nerve pain that can affect different parts of your body.
Nerve pain can be acute or chronic, depending on its length and severity. Acute nerve pain may last only a few days or weeks, while chronic nerve pain lasts longer than three months. Nerve pain can also be temporary or permanent, depending on its cause and severity.
There are three main types of nerve pain:
Neuralgia — this type of nerve pain affects any part of your body but is usually characterized by sharp, stabbing pains that occur every day at certain times and do not go away; other symptoms include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the limbs (sensory changes) as well as cognitive problems.
Neuropathy — This is a general term for damage to any nerve in the body. Neuropathy may affect your nerves' ability to conduct electrical impulses, which can cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in your extremities.
Radiculopathy — This type of nerve pain occurs when there's pressure on one of the nerves in your spine (radicular) that travels down your arms or legs to your extremities. This can cause pins-and-needles sensations or tingles in your hands and feet (called paresthesias).
2. You have numbness or tingling
Body parts don't usually suffer from numbness or tingling for no reason. When you have these symptoms, it's a good idea to see a pain specialist. In the meantime, you can use the information above to help you determine if it's nerve pain and, if so, what type of nerve pain you might be experiencing.
Nerve pain can come from different parts of your body, such as your arm or leg. It depends on where the problem is located in your nervous system. It can also vary from mild to severe. The pain may be constant or may come and go with periods of remission (when the symptoms go away).
Nerve pain can be described as a raw, burning, or tingling sensation that's usually felt in the arms and legs. It usually comes on suddenly and doesn't go away. Nerve pain could be caused by a number of conditions, including compression of a nerve due to injury, inflammation (swelling) of a nerve or fluid around the nerve, or damage to the actual nerve itself.
The pressure on these nerves can cause pain and numbness in the hand, weakness in the hand and fingers, and a tingling or burning sensation. The pain may start in the thumb side of the wrist before spreading up to the forearm, then moving into the hand as well. The numbness may go up to your shoulder or down to your fingers.
3. You have sensitivity to touch
Touching or rubbing the area where you feel pain can help you to determine whether a nerve problem causes your pain. If you have a pinched nerve, you'll probably feel pain when someone touches the area. If you don't, the person touching you should not cause more pain.
If you have a heightened sensitivity to touch, it could be a sign of nerve pain—but it could also be a sign of so many other things. The first step is to figure out what may be causing the sensitivity. Try to identify if it's a localized problem or if your whole body is affected. If you can pinpoint where the pain is coming from and what's causing it, that can help you find relief. Either way, if you notice sensitivity to touch in yourself or someone else, it's good to know what could be causing it and how to treat it.
4. You lose feeling or function in your limbs
It's a horrible feeling to lose feeling or function in your limbs, but luckily there are several symptoms that can help you discover what may be causing the problem. First of all, if you notice that your limbs feel "tired," it could be a sign of nerve pain.
When nerves are damaged or irritated, they can cause your muscles to tire out or even stop working altogether. If you feel tingling or numbness in your hands, it may mean that something is pinching your nerves and cutting off your blood supply.
A pinched nerve can hurt anywhere along the path. Nerve pain travels through your body, so you might feel numbness or tingle in different parts of your arms and legs, depending on where the nerve is being pinched. If it hurts to move your arms around (or if you feel tingling in them while they're at rest), it's possible that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, which happens when there's pressure on a nerve in the wrist.
5. You're sensitive to hot and cold temperatures
While many people find that their pain worsens in extreme temperatures, there's another sign that may indicate you're experiencing nerve pain. You may have noticed that your hands and feet are extra sensitive to heat and cold. If there's a draft in the room or if you accidentally touch something too warm or too cold, you get an immediate reaction.
Touching anything too hot feels like burning hot coal while touching anything too cold feels like sticking your finger into a block of ice. An immediate reaction to these temperatures may not seem like much more than a nuisance, but it can be an important clue to something more serious. When you are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, it's a sign that your nerves aren't functioning properly.
6. There's a burning sensation under your skin
You may be experiencing nerve pain if you experience a burning sensation under your skin. Nerve pain is caused when your skin is swollen or inflamed, and the receptors in the skin become overly stimulated and cause an extreme burning sensation. The pain can also come from pressure being put on the nerves, causing them to become irritated.
The best way to treat this type of pain is to determine if it is coming from inside or outside the body. If it is coming from inside, the best thing to do is rest and try to find ways to relax the muscles around the area that hurts. If the pain continues, you should visit a pain doctor or specialist who can give you more information on what might be causing it and appropriate treatment.
7. Your muscles are weak, and you're losing weight unintentionally
There are many causes of muscle weakness, ranging from vitamin deficiencies to neurological disorders, so it's important to tell your healthcare provider as much as possible about your symptoms. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for them to determine which tests to run and how best to proceed with treatment.
Consult a Manhattan pain management specialist
There are a variety of things that you should do if you believe you may have nerve pain. These include seeing a pain management specialist and getting assessment of your condition, as well as keeping a journal of your symptoms so you can better document what's causing the pain as well as how your treatment is progressing.
Exercise caution if considering alternative treatments, and make sure that any therapies are being performed under the guidance of a highly trained practitioner. Treatments like meditation and yoga may help to ease stress and anxiety in addition to any physical issues you're facing.
Nerve pain is serious, so please visit a pain specialist if you suspect that you have it. Consult with one of our specialists at All Of Pain Manhattan pain management clinic to see how our non-surgical treatment plan can help relieve the symptoms of your nerve pain and get you back to enjoying an active, healthy life again.