The unexplained nerve pain that have changed your life.
Skin burning and tingling.
Feeling like you’ve got pins and needles running up and down your arms or legs.
Even an electrical sensation under your skin.
Some days it may be so bad that even a loving hug or a supportive touch can be too much.
But what causes nerve pain? And more importantly, what can you do about them?
Understanding Nerves in Order to Understand Nerve Pain
The nervous system is made up of three types of nerves: the automatic nerves, the motor nerves, and the sensory nerves.
The automatic nerves are the ones that control the involuntary systems of the human body.
Systems like heart rate and digestion. You don’t have to think about these physical functions – your nervous system just handles them for you.
The motor nerves handle the voluntary functions. When you decide to do something, your motor nerves send the message from your brain to your spinal cord to the muscles required.
Finally, the sensory nerves are the ones that allow you to feel sensations. Pain, pinch, touch, tickle – you can feel all of those kinds of sensations because of the sensory nerves.
And while damage to the different types of nerves may cause specific symptoms, this isn’t ironclad.
It’s common for people to experience nerve pain that is indicative of motor nerve damage while experiencing symptoms that point to sensory nerve damage at the same time.
It’s part of what makes identifying the source of nerve pain symptoms more difficult.
What May Be Causing Your Symptoms
Another part of what makes identifying the source of the problem difficult is that many people don’t recognize symptoms of nerve pain for what they are because they don’t always cause pain.
But combine them with traditional symptoms, and you’ve got a better picture of the problem – potential nerve damage.
Lightheadedness. Sweating too much – or too little. Dry eyes and mouth. Constipation. Even sexual performance issues.
All of these indicate a problem with your autonomic nerves.
Or what about weakness, muscle atrophy, and twitching? Those are symptoms, too, and they indicate an issue with motor nerves.
And yes, more expected nerve pain symptoms like burning, pain, sensitivity, numbness, and tingling. They are symptoms of a problem with the sensory nerves.
Unexpected Consequences of Nerve Pain Symptoms
As if burning, tingling, and numbness aren’t enough, these and other symptoms of nerve pain can cause different issues if you suffer from them.
For some people, the burning and pain can be worse at night. Often, it’s so bad that the pain interferes with sleep.
And lack of sleep can cause a whole host of other issues.
Sleep deprivation can cause problems ranging from mental health issues like confusion, depression, and memory loss to physical issues, like cardiovascular concerns and lowered immunity.
Then there’s numbness. Numbness in the hands can cause problems with manual dexterity.
While that doesn’t sound like much on the surface, think about everything you do with your hands.
Tie your shoes. Hold a pen. Type. Button your clothes. Unlock your doors.
All of that and more – everything you use your hands to do – can become more difficult due to this one nerve pain symptom.
And that’s not even all. Numbness in the feet can cause other problems as well. Loss of balance and muscle strength, because you can’t feel where your feet are.
For many people, they become more susceptible to injury because they can’t feel when and if they’ve hurt their feet. Suddenly an ordinary blister can become a real problem.
What Can Be Done About Nerve Pain
The most important thing you need to do when you start experiencing nerve pain is make sure there isn’t a severe underlying medical condition, like cancer or multiple sclerosis.
While it’s rare that nerve pain is pointing in those directions, make sure you and your doctor rule them out.
However, nerve pain is usually caused by manageable conditions, like diabetes or fibromyalgia.
In fact, 25% of people with diabetes experience nerve pain symptoms of some kind.
They can also be caused by a pinched nerve, a nutritional deficiency, or even be a side effect for a new medication. So don’t panic before you talk to your doctor.
And don’t get frustrated if your nerve pain remains unexplained. That happens, too. It’s believed that as many as 15 to 20 million people suffer from unexplained nerve pain.
For some people, the cause of their nerve pain just remains unidentified.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t treat it.
Easing the Pain of Nerve Pain
Obviously, the first step is to treat any underlying cause of your nerve pain symptoms. But you can also take other steps at home to help ease the pain, as well.
Speaking of steps, try to get moving. This may seem impossible if your nerve pain is particularly bad or in your feet and legs, however, you should still ask your doctor if you can try.
As you walk, the blood vessels in your feet expand. As they expand, you improve blood flow and that may ease your pain.
Some people have success with alternative treatments – meditation, or acupuncture, specifically.
Nerve pain can be scary and confusing. Sometimes, it may even feel like they’re taking over your life. But they don’t have to be any of those things.
Talk with your doctor. Educate yourself. You can live with nerve pain – and you can feel better.