Updated: Jun 5
Do you ever get searing pain in your legs when you've been sitting in a car ride through New York City? Or tingling sensation in your hands when gripping objects? It's probably nerve pain.
It happens to a lot of people and is pretty common. It can be debilitating and make you wince just from the slightest touch. It can range from irritation to shooting to stabbing sensations. The pain can go anywhere, ranging from your toes all the way up to your head. Because of this, you want to avoid it at all costs.
There are some things you can do to help you basically prevent it from happening and recurring. Nerve pain can be avoidable, and recognizing the symptoms is crucial to combating this issue. By getting help from a New York pain management specialist and implementing a few simple changes, you can enjoy longer rides, fewer injuries, and taking care of your body in general.
What are the causes and symptoms of nerve pain?
Nerves are part of the nervous system that carries information between the brain and other parts of the body. If they're damaged, this can cause pain and other symptoms.
Nerve pain is also known as neuropathy, which means that the nerves are damaged. If you have nerve pain, it may affect how you move or feel things in your body. It includes numbness, pins, and needles (tingling), weakness, and loss of sensation in parts of your body such as your hands or feet. In addition, nerve pain is a dull pain that you may feel in your fingers, toes or other parts of the body where sensations are reduced due to nerve damage.
Nerve pain can be caused by a number of factors and is often hard to identify. For example, it can be caused by an injury or disease that affects the nerve itself, or it can be caused by something outside of the nerve, such as a muscle spasm, which squeezes the nerve. Some of these may be more serious than others and require immediate medical attention.
Here are the most common causes of nerve pain:
Injury to a nerve – Injury can cause damage to nerves, making them more susceptible to irritation or compression. For example, if you hit your elbow on something hard and it bruises or damages a nerve in your arm.
Long-term pressure on a nerve – For example, if someone hits an ankle hard with a cricket ball (which happens quite often), this can damage nerves in that area leading to chronic pain.
Nerve compression – Compression can happen when there's swelling around the nerve or when the tissue that surrounds it thickens and presses against it. For example, when muscles get too close to nerves, it can cause compression, which leads to pain.
Inflammation – Inflammation causes swelling that puts pressure on spinal nerves, causing them to send pain signals to your brain. For example, if you have an infection, then this can lead to inflammation which will also cause painful symptoms.
Infection in or around the nerve– The problem is caused by changes in blood sugar levels that can damage your nerves over time. For example, Lyme disease can cause nerve pain at any point along your body's nervous system from head to toe — even in joints like elbows and knees.
This type of pain can range from very mild and barely noticeable to severe and debilitating. If the neuropathy is left untreated, it could eventually result in complete numbness or even paralysis.
If your nerve pain continues for several weeks, see a pain specialist for an evaluation. They can help determine whether there is an underlying muscle weakness that might be contributing to the problem and recommend proper treatment.
How to avoid nerve pain?
Nerve pain can be a great nuisance, especially if it's chronic. It is a common condition that can be caused by many different health conditions. You might experience tingling, burning, or numbness in your body when you have nerve pain.
It is often caused by pinched nerves that are pressing on the spinal cord or the brain. In some cases, nerve pain may be caused by inflammation of the nerves themselves.
If you have nerve pain and want to avoid it in the future, there are some things you can do to help prevent this condition from occurring again. But before making any changes to your diet or routine, consult your healthcare provider so they are aware of the modifications you are making to your lifestyle.
Here are some tips for reducing your nerve pain and avoiding it in the future:
The best way to avoid nerve pain is to stay active. When you have nerve pain, it can be hard to stay active. You might feel like you're taking a step backward in your recovery or that it's unfair that you have to cut back on your favorite activities. But the truth is that staying active is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
One of the biggest benefits of staying active while living with nerve pain is that it helps keep your self-esteem and confidence high. If you've been dealing with chronic pain for a while, you may have started to feel hopeless or frustrated. Staying active gives you a chance to focus on something other than your symptoms — even if it's just for a few minutes at a time.
It helps reduce stress and anxiety too. Nerve pain can make it difficult to sleep well and cause fatigue, making us more stressed and anxious during the day. By doing something as simple as walking around the block or taking an easy yoga class, we're giving ourselves an opportunity to get out of our heads and focus on something else for a little bit — even if it's just for 10 minutes.
It may seem counterintuitive, but staying active and moving around helps prevent back and neck pain too. Movement stimulates the muscles and joints that support the spine, keeping them strong and healthy.
Staying active also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which can help reduce pressure on your joints. If you suffer from back, neck, or nerve pain, it may be helpful to see a pain management specialist who can prescribe exercises tailored to your condition.
Avoid Sudden Movements
Nerve damage can cause numbness or tingling sensations that can be painful when touched or pressed. You may also feel burning or electric shocks in your arms or legs. Sudden movements can quickly cause nerve compression that leads to pain.
Avoid sudden movements that might cause you to bump into something or twist your body awkwardly while doing something like lifting heavy objects. Avoid activities that could strain your back or other joints too much as well, such as bending over with your knees straight or lifting heavy objects off the floor with one hand while holding something else in the other hand (such as when you're trying to pick up something small from the floor without bending over).
Watch What You Eat
Certain foods can promote inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a reaction of your immune system to an irritant or foreign substance in the body. It's a normal process that helps protect your body from infection and heal wounds, but when it becomes chronic, it can cause pain and other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
To avoid nerve pain caused by inflammation, eat less red meat, fried foods, and processed foods — these all contain high levels of saturated fat and sodium that promote inflammation in the body. Instead, choose more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (such as beans), and nuts.
These foods are low in saturated fat and sodium but high in fiber and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation throughout your body and may help protect your nerves from damage that can lead to nerve pain.
Antioxidants include vitamins A, C and E; B-complex vitamins; selenium; magnesium; zinc; coenzyme Q10; curcumin; ginger root extract; ginkgo Biloba extract; fish oil capsules; dark chocolate (seems counterintuitive but it contains flavonoids which are antioxidants); green tea (again seems counterintuitive but it contains caffeine which stimulates blood flow and therefore helps with recovery after exercise) and other green teas such as jasmine or chamomile).
Get A Massage
One of the best things you can do to prevent nerve pain is getting a massage. Medical massage therapy is a safe and effective treatment for many conditions, including chronic nerve pain. It stimulates blood flow, which increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in your body. It helps cells regenerate and reduces inflammation in injured tissues, which can help relieve nerve pain.
Medical massage therapy is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress, which can be a major contributor to nerve pain. It helps promote healing, relax tense muscles and improve function.
To get the most benefit from a massage, find a licensed massage therapist who has advanced training and experience treating people with chronic pain conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica.
If you're interested in learning more about medical massage therapy and other options for relieving nerve pain, talk to our pain physician or visit our pain management center.
Start An Exercise Program
Exercise can help improve circulation in your body, which can help with nerve pain. Exercise also helps strengthen your muscles, making them less prone to injury and more flexible, reducing strain on your nerves.
If you're not used to exercising, start gradually and work up to a more intense level of exercise over time. Whether it's walking in the park or doing stretches at home every day before bedtime, start slowly and find something that fits your needs and interests.
Exercise regularly, but don't overdo it. When exercising, remember that less is more when it comes to intensity, duration, and frequency of activity. The goal is to get moving more often throughout the day, not necessarily to burn calories or build muscle mass quickly.
Don't push yourself too hard when exercising; try to work out at a moderate pace for 30 minutes or longer three times per week. Make sure to check with the pain management specialist before starting a new exercise regimen. Ask for advice on exercises that may help relieve your symptoms.
A physical therapist will also be able to provide guidance on ways to avoid further injury to the affected area. Physical therapists are experts in the field of pain management and can help you find relief from your nerve pain.
A physical therapist may also recommend exercises that target specific nerve pain symptoms and areas where you experience discomfort. They will also work with you on ways to improve your range of motion, strength, and endurance which will help restore your ability to do everyday tasks without pain or stiffness.
You're In Control
Keep these strategies in mind when experiencing symptoms of nerve pain, and speak with your healthcare provider if it persists. Letting nerve pain go on for too long can be dangerous. (The Effects of Untreated Nerve Pain)
Nerve pain does not appear out of thin air. It is usually a sign that something is wrong with your body, as there's no reason for it to happen on its own. Chronic nerve pain will make you feel more terrible and limited in what you can do. The sooner you address nerve pain, the better. It can be uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating, but with the right treatment and help from New York pain management experts, you can stay ahead of your pain and feel in control of it.
Keep yourself on the right track to stay healthy. The more that you do to help your body heal and get stronger, the better equipped it will be to prevent further nerve pain from happening or returning. Good health takes effort, but in the end, your efforts will pay off, and you will be glad you took care of yourself.