Updated: Jun 2
Is there a chance that you're experiencing early nerve pain symptoms? Do these nerve problems send extra jolts of pain shooting through your body from time to time? If you know the answer is yes, don't stress yourself more by probing around at the injured areas. Instead, go and get it checked out by our Manhattan pain management specialist!
Nerves run throughout the body, connecting muscle to bone and creating movement and sensations, and play a vital role in helping us function on a day-to-day basis. If a nerve or a group of nerves suffers some type of injury or irritation, we experience symptoms, which can be in any part of the body, but it's most commonly the arm (or hands), leg (or foot), and face. But sometimes, these symptoms can be early warning signs of a serious condition – nerve damage (neuropathy) – which could lead to long-term disability if not treated.
So if you experience any nerve pain symptoms in your hands, arm, or leg, it's very important to know how this can be nerve pain and not simply a result of a minor injury. Nerve pain can develop into a serious condition, so it's important to know how to recognize the early warning signs and how to treat them.
Nerve Pain Symptoms To Look Out For
Have you ever had pain in your arm or leg that starts and is intense while doing something and then disappears? If so, this may be a sign of nerve pain from repetitive stress injuries. It's a common problem for desk workers who use the computer all day and even athletes that have overused their arms or legs for sports or activities. The great news is it does not always mean long-term nerve damage is occurring, but if left untreated, it can lead to permanent damage to the nerves.
Nerve pain is a type of discomfort characterized by pain felt in nerves rather than muscles or joints. Nerves are conduits connecting muscles and every other part of your body with your brain. This means that anyone who experiences nerve pain will be suffering from lots of discomfort, tingling, and pins and needles sensations in their body.
The early symptoms of nerve pain can be difficult to detect and often go undetected. However, if you know what to look for, you can catch the problem before it becomes severe. The following symptoms may indicate that you may be experiencing early signs of nerve damage:
► If You Experience Loss of Sensation
Nerves carry signals from the brain to the rest of the body. For example, you may feel that your feet are getting cold and numb or that it takes longer than normal for them to warm up.
You may also have difficulty feeling hot or cold water running through your feet. This loss of sensation can be an early sign of nerve damage. This is usually the first symptom to appear, and it often prevents people from realizing that they have nerve damage until it's too late.
A loss of sensation can be caused by compression, inflammation, or other problems affecting the sensory roots of your nerves. It may be slight or severe, depending on the type of nerve damage. When there is damage to a nerve, one or more functions controlled by that nerve may not work properly. For example, if you have a pinched nerve in your neck, you may lose feeling in part of your arm.
It's important that you seek medical attention immediately if you experience loss of sensation. This may be the first sign that something is wrong with your nerves.
► If You Have Sensitivity to Touch
One of the most common nerve pain symptoms is hypersensitivity to touch. You may notice that touching certain parts of your body causes sharp pains or tingling sensations.
In addition, your skin may feel extra sensitive or irritated when it's touched or rubbed, even by something as gentle as a towel or blanket. That's because the cells that make up your skin are packed with nerve endings that send pain signals to your brain when they're damaged.
This hypersensitivity is usually accompanied by pain or burning sensations in the area where it's touched. This symptom is often more noticeable at night when it's cold outside or when the weather changes dramatically from hot to cold climates; however, these sensations are not limited to these conditions alone.
► If You Have a Burning or Shooting Pain
This type of pain often begins suddenly and may last for a few seconds or minutes before going away. However, the pain can come in waves and may occur with other symptoms, such as tingling or numbness.
If you're experiencing nerve pain, see a health professional immediately. Early treatment can prevent long-term damage from this condition.
Burning pain: Burning is one of the most common nerve pain symptoms. It can occur anywhere along your nerve and range from mild to severe. You might feel a burning sensation on one side of your body or in one part of your body only (for example, just on one finger). Nerve damage can cause hot and cold sensitivity, which means that something that feels hot to others may feel painfully cold to you and vice versa.
Electric shock/shooting pain: When nerves are damaged by injury or disease, they may send false signals through the body that result in shooting or electric-like sensations. These can happen anywhere on your body but are most common in areas where there are sensory nerves located close to the surface of the skin, such as fingertips and toes (known as pressure points).
► If You Experience Numbness and Tingling
The most common early symptom of nerve pain is numbness or tingling in your arms or legs. Numbness is when you feel like there's no feeling in an area of your body, such as your fingers or toes. Tingling is when you feel like electricity is running through an area of your body, such as your hands or feet.
It can range from mild to severe, may worsen over time, and can also be associated with burning or itching sensations. If you suspect that you are experiencing nerve pain symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention right away so that a pain specialist can diagnose and treat the cause of your symptoms.
► If You Experience Weakness or Paralysis
Weakness and paralysis are also early symptoms of nerve damage or dysfunction in the body. You might feel weakness in an arm or leg because the damaged nerve isn't sending signals correctly to tell your muscles what to do. This can cause problems with balance and coordination as well as paralysis.
Weakness occurs when muscles no longer respond because of damage to nerves that control their function. Paralysis occurs when there is a total loss of function in an area. It's important to see a pain physician if you notice any changes in your ability to feel, move and control your body, especially if it comes on suddenly or after an injury.
► If You Have Unusual Muscle Pain
If you notice that your muscles are twitching or cramping more than usual, this could be an indication of inflammation in your spine or a pinched nerve. It might even be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
It's important to note that not all muscle twitches are caused by nerve damage. But if other symptoms of nerve pain accompany them, it's worth looking into further.
Factors That Might Have Caused Nerve Pain
Most people experience nerve pain at some point in their lives. Nerve pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, including injury to the nerve or spinal cord itself and also due to inflammation.
Neuropathic pain can result from an injury to your spinal cord or peripheral nerves — for example, if you have diabetes and lose feeling in your feet due to peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage). Other causes include:
Infections such as HIV/AIDS or Lyme disease; these infections can affect the nerves that carry signals from the brain to the rest of the body.
Damage caused by surgery on the spine or brain; this type of damage can lead to chronic limb pain.
Traumatic injury to the spine or neck; injury to the spine can cause muscle spasms in surrounding nerves and lead to chronic nerve pain over time. Neck injuries can cause painful muscle spasms as well as spinal cord compression that leads to weakness in arms or legs.
If you're not sure what's causing your nerve pain, it's important to see a health professional as soon as possible so they can diagnose it and provide treatment options to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Treatment to Relieve Nerve Pain
Nerve pain is a common condition that can affect any part of your body. It can occur suddenly, with no warning, or it may develop slowly over time. Unfortunately, it's easy to ignore the signs of nerve pain, especially if you're not sure what it is.
But if you experience any of these nerve pain symptoms, make an appointment with a pain specialist as soon as possible so they can begin a treatment plan that will work best for you. The sooner you get help, the better.
There are many treatments for nerve pain that may help ease your symptoms, including minimally invasive procedures, such as steroid injections, physical therapy, medical massage, and acupuncture. However, nerve pain treatment varies depending on the cause, location, and severity of your symptoms. To determine the best course of treatment for your nerve pain, you'll likely need an evaluation by a health professional who specializes in treating this type of condition.
Recover from Nerve Pain
If you or a family member sustained an injury to your hand, arm, wrist, or leg, it's important to see a pain specialist for proper treatment. And don't be tempted to push through the pain—this can lead to further problems down the line and serious complications. Instead, take care of yourself by seeking treatment as soon as possible.
Nerve damage is serious. But the sooner you address the symptoms, the better your chances of a full recovery and minimizing long-term damage. So if any of the symptoms in this article sound familiar, don't wait to seek treatment—do something now.
Our Manhattan pain management specialists are highly trained and experienced, utilizing the latest medical technology to provide patients with effective personalized treatment plans. We are located in Koreatown, NYC, and serve patients from all over New York and Manhattan area with convenient office hours and flexible scheduling options. If you're experiencing nerve pain, we'd love to help you find relief. To schedule an appointment, contact us today at 646-725-4600!