How Do You Know if Your Chronic Pain is Neuropathic?

Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that thousands of people are diagnosed with each year. Its difficulty to treat, isolating nature, and persistent discomfort are often worsened by the fact that finding the cause of chronic pain can be extremely difficult.

One type of chronic pain that can be hard to diagnose and even harder to manage is neuropathic pain. Originating in the nerve tissues, this type of pain presents a certain set of symptoms that might help you identify it, but its variable nature can present you with challenges.

If you’re concerned that the chronic pain you’re experiencing is tied to your nerves, visit the spinal experts at Posture Works in San Francisco, CA, and Denver, CO. Using our well-researched Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach, we may be able to identify the problem and create a treatment plan that offers you some relief.

What is neuropathic pain?

The term “neuropathic pain” describes pain that stems from an injury to one nerve or a group of nerves in the body. It differs from other types of pain, which stem from reactions to painful stimuli. This usually happens after a bodily injury, like a torn muscle.

Instead, neuropathic pain is commonly linked to things like inflammation or compression of a nerve itself. Because nerve tissues are spread throughout the entire body, this type of pain is not always localized. Instead, it can spread to related parts of the body, such as the back, buttocks, and legs.

While neuropathic pain can resolve itself in time, it is commonly chronic because of its underlying condition causing permanent damage to the tissue. When these tissues become damaged, they have a tendency to send faulty pain signals to the brain, indicating an injury when there is not one. For example, a herniated disc may damage the surrounding nerve tissue, but the nerves may continue to send pain signals long after the herniated disc has resolved itself.

Identifying neuropathic pain

The trouble with neuropathic pain is that it can be extremely unpredictable. You may experience significant pain one day and very dull or even no pain the next. It also isn’t easy to diagnose neuropathic pain alone, because it may occur alongside other types of pain, particularly in the back.

However, neuropathic pain does tend to present a specific set of symptoms. People who suffer from sciatica or similar ailments may recognize these symptoms, since sciatica is a common form of neuropathic pain.

Common symptoms of neuropathic pain include:

  • Pain that feels sharp, stabbing, or shooting;
  • Burning sensations;
  • Pins and needles sensations;
  • Tingling or numbness;
  • Weakness.

If you are experiencing chronic pain, try to identify exactly what type of pain you’re feeling and where it is occurring in the body. Because nerves run from the spine into diverse groups through the body, the problem may stem from your lower back while affecting your back, legs, and even feet. Identifying these pain “paths” may help in reaching a diagnosis.

What can be done?

Common treatment options for neuropathic pain include activity modification, heat and cold therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic adjustments.

If you think you’re experiencing chronic neuropathic pain, you’ll want to speak with a professional right away to see if the source can be discovered. Although there may not be a cure for your condition, you may be able to more effectively relieve your pain through a targeted treatment plan. Contact Posture Works in San Francisco, CA, and Denver, CO, to see how we may be able to help you control your pain.

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.