In this video Q and A with Dr. Tim Tollestrup, he explains how a patient knows if they have nerve pain. The diagnosis is in part a diagnosis of elimination but also involves distinct symptoms and the classic indicator of intense pain.
Transcript: Figuring out what the cause of your pain is, whether it’s from a damaged peripheral nerve or from arthritis or an inflamed tendon, can be a little bit tricky, but the system is set up to identify everything but peripheral nerve pain pretty well.
Generally speaking, if you go through the process of trying to figure out where your pain is coming from, and you see your spine surgeon and your orthopedic surgeon and the neurologist, and you can do physical therapy, et cetera, et cetera, and nothing works, or it makes it worse, you’re probably dealing with peripheral nerve pain, just by default, by a process of exclusion.
Other clues that you can be dealing with peripheral nerve pain are things like if you’re experiencing numbness, tingling, pins and needles sensation, loss of sensation, weakness in just a limb, rather than in your whole body, weird symptoms, like feeling like there’s a band around your leg or pressure, or water’s running down your leg. Nerve pain often will have a burning characteristic to it. So you might feel like your leg’s on fire, or what have you. Those kind of strange sensations often indicate a nerve problem.
Another good indicator is the severity of the pain. Pain from a damaged nerve is usually off the charts bad in a lot of cases. The patient can be sitting there and look pretty normal, but can be experiencing excruciating pain. So all these things kind of give you a clue that you’re