Updated: Jun 2
There are many factors that cause nerve pain and can make your life miserable, but most cases follow a similar pattern. However, there are treatments available for nerve pain relief that has been scientifically proven to be safe and effective.
Nerve pain is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor's office. But in order to effectively treat nerve pain, it's helpful to learn the different types of nerve pain and the most common root causes. The type of pain you are experiencing could determine how it is treated.
The first step on your journey to relief should be an accurate diagnosis by an New York pain management professional so that you can rule out any serious conditions. This blog will give you an idea of what might have been causing your nerves to be in pain.
What Nerve Pain Feels Like
Nerves are bundles of nerve fibers that carry signals to and from your brain and spinal cord. Nerve pain comes from different types of nerves throughout the body — some that control movement and sensation (motor and sensory nerves), and others control automatic functions such as heart rate (autonomic nerves).
There are many different types of nerve pain, and often times it's hard to pinpoint exactly where the problem is coming from. This is because various structures in the human body can be affected by nerve damage, most commonly the spinal nerve roots, which branch off the spinal cord.
The symptoms of nerve pain are also different depending on where in the body the problem occurs. For example, if you have a problem with your spinal cord (which is made up of bundles of nerves), you may have weakness in an arm or leg; if you have problems with peripheral nerves outside your spinal cord, you may have tingling or numbness.
Symptoms can include:
Burning or tingling sensations. These symptoms may be felt in the whole extremity or only in one area (for example, only in your hand). It may feel hot or cold, depending on how much the nerve is compressed.
Numbness and tingling are worse at night than during the day. You may have trouble distinguishing between numbness and pins-and-needles sensations.
Weakness in an arm or leg. This weakness can happen when a nerve stops sending signals to muscles properly because of compression, injury, disease, or another cause.
Nerve pain is a broad term that covers a wide range of different sensations, from pins and needles to a burning or stabbing sensation. These symptoms often get worse or spread around areas that are close to their original location. Damage to the nerves can occur anywhere along the nerve pathways that run throughout your body but is most commonly felt in the arms, legs, or back.
The pain associated with nerve damage is not consistent. In some cases, it may be constant and throbbing, while in others, it may come and go. Since the nerves are responsible for sending impulses to your brain, any irritation of the nerve can cause sensations that range from mild to severe.
Different Causes of Nerve Pain
Nerve pain can be caused by a number of different issues. Some of them are more serious than others. That's why it is important to get a diagnosis from a pain management professional so you can get the right treatment.
The most common type of nerve pain is an injury to the nerves. Nerve injuries can happen when you have an accident or trauma, such as car accidents or falls, when you lift something heavy, or when you have surgery on your back.
Nerve injuries may also occur because of repetitive stress on your body over time. For example, if you use your hands too much without giving them time to rest, they can become damaged by overuse syndrome (repetitive strain injury). Musicians often develop this type of injury when practicing too much without taking frequent breaks from playing their instruments.
Another type of nerve pain is bodily pain, which occurs in response to physical damage to your body. This type of nerve pain may be caused by muscle spasms, inflammation, or other structural problems in your muscles or joints.
If you have pain in your leg, hip, or foot, it may be sciatica — irritation of the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Sciatica usually affects one leg and is often worse when standing up and relieved when you sit or lie down. The pain may be sharp and electric-like, but it generally gets better after a few weeks of treatment.
Infections such as Lyme disease can cause inflammation of the nerve tissue. This leads to swelling and irritation in the surrounding area. In addition, it causes pain that comes on suddenly and then disappears quickly once the infection clears up.
Some diseases and conditions, such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis, can cause permanent nerve damage (neuropathy). The longer you have these conditions, the more likely you'll develop neuropathic pain.
Degeneration of joints in your spine (osteoarthritis) can cause compression of nerves in your spinal cord and lead to neuropathic pain. Also, certain medications can cause nerve damage if they're used for long periods of time or taken in high doses.
Take Control of Your Nerve Pain
Pain in the nerves can manifest in many different areas of the body. Understanding the most common causes of nerve pain is the first step to taking control of your nerve pain. After all, if you know what's causing your problem, then you can work to eliminate that as a possible trigger.
If symptoms indicate nerve pain, be sure to see a New York pain management specialist as soon as possible. That way, you can get the necessary treatment to manage nerve pain. The sooner the condition is treated, the quicker you will feel better.
Dialing down your condition may take time, but with the right diagnosis, and effective treatment can take care of nerve pain, allowing you to live your life without discomfort.