Sydney Chiropractor, Rachael Veronesi, Director of the Neurobalance Chiropractic Clinic explains that nerve pain can range from mild ‘pins and needles’, through ‘crawling’, ‘tingling’, and ‘burning’, sensations to jolts like receiving an electric shock, and severe pain that can be bad enough to limit the activities of daily life.
All nerve pain arises from compression or damage to a nerve or nerves. This may be a biomechanical problem, or a neuropathy arising from a medical condition, some medicines or an exposure to certain toxins.
An example of a biomechanical problem causing nerve pain would be a bulging spinal disc or disc degeneration that can cause compression of the sciatic nerve, resulting in pain radiating from the lower spine, through the buttock and down through the back of the thigh.
Neuropathy can arise from more than 50 known medical conditions, perhaps the most common of which is Diabetes. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels results in peripheral nerve damage that can lead to severe complications. Alarmingly, more than half of Diabetics found to have a degree of Neuropathy have no symptoms at all to alert them of potential problems ahead.
Neuropathy can also arise from a number of other factors, including the following –
- Some prescription medications including some of those used for HIV and Cancer treatment
- A deficiency of Vitamin B12
- Repetitive strain injuries, traumas and infections
- Exposure to some toxins including excessive alcohol use
An existing neuropathy that arises either, from a medical condition, or from one of the factors highlighted above makes a person more susceptible to the sort of compressive nerve damage that can cause problems such as sciatica, or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Once a nerve becomes damaged it is more likely to behave abnormally – either sending out pain messages inappropriately or excessively, or sending no messages to the brain, resulting in numbness.
What Causes Nerve Pain?
Early diagnosis of the cause of nerve pain is very important. Understanding the cause and providing early treatment will help to prevent further nerve damage. Where there is a biomechanical cause, compression of the nerve is usually what produces the pain. Neuropathic pain is usually associated with the neuropathy caused by conditions such as spinal stenosis or Diabetes. However, injuries to the spinal cord and to the brain itself can also result in chronic nerve pain.
Unfortunately, for some people, the cause of their pain remains unexplained, even after exhaustive tests. In these cases it is referred to as, ‘idiopathic’ nerve pain. Studies have shown that many people with pre-diabetes suffer from unexplained nerve pain and, it is believed, raised blood sugar levels may be the primary cause of this.
Treatment For Nerve Pain
It is important to find the exact source of the problem in diagnosis of all nerve pain. In the case of neuropathy, addressing the underlying cause can be an effective preventive strategy against further damage. For example, in the case of Diabetic Neuropathy, serious complications may be avoided by effectively addressing the underlying cause of the nerve damage, high blood sugar.
At the Neurobalance Clinic, the underlying cause of a patient’s nerve pain is the focus of treatment. For example, in the case of sciatica, the most common cause is a herniated or bulging spinal disc in the lumbar region of the spine. Other causes can include degenerative disc disease, or arthritis.
If nerve pain is a problem for you, please call your Sydney Chiropractor at the NeuroBalance Chiropractic Clinic now on 02 9938 5456 (Brookvale) or 02 9420 1474 (Lane Cove) today, to discuss the treatment options and alternatives available to you.