Nerve pain (neuropathy) can be debilitating, causing a number of problems within the body. It’s typically defined as a shocking or sharp pain that follows the path of a nerve. There are over 100 different types of nerve damage. But it’s typically caused by irritation or damage to the nerve. If you have it, you know that the pain may come and go as it pleases. Or it may be constant and burning, especially when the area is moved. You may also experience increased sensitivity along the path of the damaged nerve. Even light touch or pressure can intensify the pain. If you think you may have nerve pain, check out some common causes of nerve pain, below.
Nerve Pain Basics:
- Type of Pain – nerve pain is a particular type of pain that is typically categorized as sharp, burning, or like an electric shock.
- Time of Day – nerve pain is typically worse at night. This could be due to fewer distractions, a tired body, or even a temperature drop at night.
- Causes – nerve pain is usually caused by viral or bacterial diseases, as well as medical conditions like diabetes. Injuries also cause nerve pain – especially brain and spinal cord injuries.
- It’s Treatable – Always make sure to talk with your doctor before attempting any treatments. It’s best to always treat the underlying cause if there is one. You can also use painkillers, relaxation techniques, and exercise.
6 Major Causes of Nerve Pain:
One of the leading causes of nerve pain is bacterial and viral infections. Bacterial infections like Lyme disease, leprosy, and diphtheria cause substantial and extensive peripheral nerve damage. And thankfully leprosy and diphtheria are extremely rare, however Lyme disease is on the rise. So, if you’ve been bitten by a tick at any time and are experiencing sharp or dull pain, pay the doctor a visit to get tested.
Viral infections also lead to nerve damage and pain. In fact, some viruses attack nerve tissues. Shingles and other herpes-related viruses can cause very painful shocks of pain as the viruses severely damage sensory nerves. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can cause considerable damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems. In fact, if you experience painful shocks in your hands and feet, this is one of the first signs of an HIV infection.
Injuries, Cancer, And Tumors
Cancer, tumors, bones, ligaments, and blood vessels can all cause peripheral neuropathy due to the placing pressure on nerves. In fact, unseen injuries can become numb, so you don’t even know you have an injury until it’s too late. It’s best to catch nerve pressure and pain before it turns numb. So, make sure to talk to your doctor and regularly examine your extremities for overlooked injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common trauma that happens to many people. Tumor location can have a direct effect on nerve pain as well, as the tumor can grow to press on the nerve. In addition, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat cancers can injure nerves, especially in high doses.
Just like the rest of your body, your nerves need adequate nutrients. Deficiencies of vitamin B6 and B12 in particular can cause nerve pain and damage. And some symptoms of these deficiencies include burning sensations and weakness. Another cause of a nutritional deficiency is gastric surgery and excessive alcohol consumption.
It’s a fact that up to 70% of people with diabetes also suffer from nerve damage. And as the disease progresses, the nerve pain can get worse and worse. In fact, diabetic nerve pain is a very serious complication, and can cause far more problems as time goes on. Some people may need an amputation eventually, and this surgery can cause even more nerve damage. So, if you have diabetes and you experience pain or numbness, it’s essential that you contact your doctor as soon as possible.