At Integrated Pain Consultants, Dr. Nikesh Seth is used to the common descriptors of nerve pain: burning, tingling, like pinpricks, or shocks of electricity. Even a person who’s never had nerve pain before instinctually knows what it is. It’s a pain like no other and can be debilitating. There are many causes of nerve pain, and some are more common than others.
Surprisingly, diabetes and nerve pain go hand in hand. High blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage. It affects the signals between hands and feet. It’s usually marked by numbness or tingling in the toes, fingers, hands, or feet. Sometimes it feels like a sharp, burning ache.
If you’ve had chicken pox, the shingles virus is already inside you and can awaken at any moment. Shingles can happen suddenly but is often brought on by stress, and can also lead to postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Shingles occur when the virus travels to the nerve fibers and causes a rash.
3. Pinched nerve.
Pinched nerves happen when there’s an excess of pressure on a nerve from nearby bones, muscles, tendons, or cartilage. The pressure interferes with the nerve function and can cause tingling, weakness, pain, or numbness. Pinched nerves can happen anywhere in the body, and may be brought on by other issues such as a herniated disc.
This overarching term refers to when nerves are damaged or “die.” Although it can be caused by diabetes, that’s not always the case. Neuropathy is any condition that affects normal nerve activity, and it can be genetic or acquired. It’s very common, affecting up to 30 percent of Americans. The peripheral nervous system includes three types of nerves, and any of these can be damaged.
5. Autoimmune diseases.
Various types of autoimmune diseases can cause nerve pain including multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Although nerve pain from autoimmune diseases is less common than the previous causes, it’s a factor to consider.
If you’re suffering from nerve pain, help is available. Contact Integrated Pain Consultants for a consultation to discuss all options.