Nerve (Neuropathic) Pain: Why It Happens and How to Address It

Have you ever had days at work or at home suddenly ruined by a sharp, stabbing, and/or electric-like pain anywhere in the body? If you answered yes, these may be warning signs of a condition that affects nerves found all over the body.

A major component of your nervous system, the nerves are fibers within your body that function like cables. Your body and your brain communicate with each other by sending and receiving signals, and neurons (also known as nerve cells1) are responsible for getting the message across.2 

At some point in time, though, your nerves and neurons can experience damage and trigger discomfort in the form of neuropathic pain, or simply, nerve pain. In some cases, this pain is already a symptom of a health issue that needs to be addressed ASAP.

If you find yourself constantly dealing with nerve pain, continue reading this guide to learn about its causes and symptoms. More importantly, learn strategies that can help you relieve and prevent nerve pain effectively.


What Is Neuropathic or Nerve Pain? 

Experts have defined this health issue as discomfort that is “caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory system.”3 In simpler terms, nerve pain happens due to a damaged or malfunctioning nervous system.4 In some instances, your body can deliver “pain signals” to your brain without any warning and make you think that you are experiencing discomfort.5

People experiencing this health issue may notice pain in various body parts, such as the spinal cord and the brain (both of which comprise the central nervous system), or in organs, arms, legs, fingers, and toes (where peripheral nerves can be spread out). 

The most common symptom of nerve pain is shooting, stabbing, and/or burning pain in the affected area. The discomfort can either be constant or intermittent. However, other symptoms include:6,7

  • Tingling and numbness in the affected area and/or “pins and needles”
  • Spontaneous pain that can manifest even without warning or triggers
  • Allodynia or pain that can be triggered by instances that are not usually painful such as staying in cold temperatures, brushing your hair, or rubbing a body part against an item
  • Hyperalgesia or pain characterized by heightened discomfort caused by stimuli such as pinpricks and heat
  • Hypoalgesia or reduced pain response to a stimulus that normally causes discomfort
  • Sleeping or resting difficulties
  • Emotional problems due to chronic pain, loss of sleep, and difficulty expressing feelings
  • Tendency to feel unpleasant or abnormal


Common Causes of Neuropathic or Nerve Pain

Various diseases and/or conditions have been linked to nerve pain. Some known factors that can predispose someone to nerve pain include:8,9

  • Diabetes: High blood sugar levels and increased amounts of fats like triglycerides can trigger diabetic neuropathy. This is characterized by damage to the nerves and blood vessels responsible for providing these fibers with oxygen and nutrients.10 
  • High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, free fatty acids, and inflammatory proteins: These health problems, which also occur among diabetics, may not just raise the risk for arterial plaque and cell damage, but also impair cells’ healing and reproductive abilities. Organ and tissue function can be negatively affected too, and trigger complications like diabetic neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.11 
  • Back, leg, and/or hip problems or injuries: These may cause lasting nerve damage and trigger discomfort. 
  • Tissue, muscle, or joint injuries: Albeit considered an uncommon cause of nerve pain, these particular injuries may cause some damage to the nervous system and result in pain.
  • Spine-related accidents or injuries: People with herniated discs and/or spinal cord compression may have nerve damage in the fibers surrounding the spine.
  • Facial nerve disorders: Certain factors can affect nerves of the face and trigger immense pain. Examples of facial nerve disorders include Bell’s Palsy, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, facial spasms, and neuromas.12
  • Shingles: This health issue caused by the varicella-zoster virus may trigger the appearance of rashes and nerve pain that can last for three to five weeks.13
  • Alcoholism or excessive alcohol intake: Consuming too much alcohol can trigger significant nerve damage and pain.14 
  • Cancer treatment: Chemotherapy and radiation treatment may cause changes in nervous system function and put people at risk for nerve pain.
  • Amputation: Undergoing an amputation can lead to a phenomenon called “phantom limb pain.” Although its cause is not confirmed yet, phantom limb pain may happen because of a “rewiring” in the brain and spinal cord after failure to receive signals from the missing body part. Pain signals are then sent to your brain, signaling that something is wrong. In some instances, damaged nerves and scar tissue from the surgery may cause the pain.15 
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: Low levels of this B vitamin can predispose someone to peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nerves. People can feel pain, numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, decreased motor activity, or decreased muscle mass in the affected area.16 

Consult your trusted doctor if you have concerns about nerve pain. Your doctor will do a thorough medical history and physical examination where you may have to describe the location, severity, and potential triggers of the pain. Your family history and other risk factors can also be taken into consideration. If needed, you will have to undergo some blood and nerve tests..15,16


Is There Treatment for Neuropathic or Nerve Pain?

Just as there are multiple causes of nerve pain, there are various ways to address it too. Knowing the nerve pain cause/s is crucial in determining the next steps for you and alleviating symptoms once and for all.

For a lot of nerve pain cases, multimodal therapy may be beneficial. This involves the use of various strategies or methods to relieve pain and discomfort in patients, such as:17,18

  • Medicines such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants/anti-seizure medicines
  • Psychological counseling
  • Physical, relaxation, or massage therapy that may help ease muscles
  • Surgery (only if needed)

If physical therapy is recommended, you can talk to a physical or occupational therapist who can teach you strategies for sitting, stretching, standing, and/or moving that’ll help lessen nerve-related pain.


Take Much-Needed Steps Against Nerve Pain

Protect your body against the potential effects of nerve pain today. Eat healthy food, exercise more often, and ask your doctor about the benefits of a supplement like Vitamin B-Complex Vaneular®.

This supplement contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and nicotinic acid (B3), all B-complex vitamins. These nutrients help ensure that your nervous system functions properly and may help alleviate some of the symptoms of neuromuscular disorders. 

Act on nerve pain before it’s too late — ask your doctor about the possible benefits of Vitamin B-Complex Vaneular® for nerve pain today. Take this supplement orally once a day, or as recommended by your doctor. 

Vitamin B-Complex Vaneular® is available in leading drugstores and pharmacies nationwide for Php22.00 SRP a tablet.

If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.


Share this article