What Causes Nerve Pain?
Updated: Feb 25
When can you suspect that nerve pain is present?
For many folks, pain is something more than a dull ache, annoying tension, or that light irritation that has just become a nuisance. For some, the pain covers large areas of the body and seems to appear as a constant burning, tingling, stabbing, shooting, pricking, weakness, and numbing. These symptoms are often strong indicators that nerves are the primary culprit in pain and can often bring a greater level of anxiety. So, what is the root of these nerve pains and why might they be happening?
What causes nerves to be painful?
One of the most frustrating things about nerve pain is there are many different culprits, and all of them can require a much different approach in treatment:
- Direct compression: For most, compression somewhere long the nerve pathway is interrupting signals, causing irritation, and driving a cycle of neural inflammation. The sources of this compression can range from muscles, fascia, joints, and bones in terms of what is driving the compression.
- Damage and trauma: For a much smaller but still significant portion of the population, direct trauma and impact can damage the nerves locally. Some common situations are sports contact, car wrecks, and falls. Often people with this type of nerve presentation understand there is a connection between their trauma and their symptoms but they may not know its nerve pain or that something can be done about it.
- Pathology: For some people that are dealing with nerve symptoms, these symptoms are stemming from a condition, disease, or pathology that is yet unknown. This could include diabetes, Lyme disease, or Fabry’s disease, to name a few. These presentations can be some of the most difficult to uncover and seem to dismiss progressive interventions without proper diagnosis and, in most cases, continue to get worse.
- Nutrient deficiency: There are a variety of things in the nutrient category that can cause neural symptoms, including deficiency (B-12), intolerance (gluten), or abuse (alcohol). Like pathologies, these are difficult to uncover and require the intervention of a specialist.
While these latter two causes require a specialist, a large number of cases fall under physical trauma and compression. In our next blog, we will look deeper into what causes there may be and various interventions to address these issues. Stay tuned!