At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
There are many different causes of nerve pain. Neurological pain is often difficult to treat and slow to heal. While treating the nerve pain is a priority for the healthcare provider, it is also important to determine what is causing the nerve pain.
Doctors term the inflammation of a nerve that leads to neurological pain as neuritis. There are a variety of ailments that can lead to neuritis, including relatively common and treatable conditions such as shingles, and less common ailments such as Guillain-Barre syndrome. Diagnosing neurological pain is often a system of trial and error, and requires assessing any other symptoms the patient is experiencing.
Bell's palsy is an ailment that develops when one of the nerves responsible for facial control becomes compressed or swollen. While the most prominent symptom of Bell's palsy is paralysis on one side of the face, neurological pain is another common symptom. The pain, as well as the paralysis, is typically temporary, and most patients begin to feel better within one week.
Shingles is another illness that can lead to nerve pain, however, the pain from shingles can be permanent. While most people who develop shingles recover fully, some continue to have lingering neurological pain after the other shingles symptoms subside. The pain can last forever. Seeking treatment for shingles, rather than allowing the virus to run its course, is one way to reduce the odds of developing long-term nerve pain.
Fibromyalgia can also cause nerve pain. The nerve pain associated with fibromyalgia can develop in any part of the body, and may be similar to the way a body part feels when it falls asleep, it may feel like there is something crawling on the skin, or the skin may itch or burn. Physicians are unsure what leads to neurological pain from fibromyalgia, though the pain is recognized as a symptom of the ailment.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that may develop after a seemingly minor illness. The immune system attacks the nervous system in this disorder, which leads to nerve pain and muscle weakness. There is no cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, although physicians can treat many of the symptoms. The illness often runs its course over several months to a year, although lingering weakness or nerve pain continues to plague some patients.
People who suffer from Parkinson's disease may experience nerve pain as well. The neurological pain develops when a nerve becomes compressed or inflamed because of the restricted range of motion someone with Parkinson's disease develops. Treatment for nerve pain associated with Parkinson's disease often includes physical therapy to help the patient move in a more fluid manner.