This pain may be caused by hurt nerve fibers that send pain signals to your brain. This can happen even when there is no event to start the pain. For example, a person with neuropathic pain may have a feeling of pins and needles when putting on socks.
Nerve damage may be from:
The nerve not getting the vital nutrients needed to work
The body’s immune system attacking the nerves
Sometimes the cause of the nerve pain is unknown.
Certain health problems raise your risk of getting neuropathic pain, such as:
This pain may be all the time or come and go during the day. The pain can get in the way of daily activities like sleep. In some cases, even the touch of a bed sheet can cause pain.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
You may be sent to a neurologist to be checked or treated.
You may also be referred to a special doctor who can help you take care of your pain.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. You may have:
There are a number of medicines that can help treat neuropathic pain. Some of these were made to treat other health problems. They have also been found to be useful for treating nerve pain.
Medicines to treat symptoms of peripheral neuropathy:
Opioid pain relievers
Over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen
Topical creams put on the skin or patches, such as capsaicin cream
It may take a while for your doctor to find the right medicine for you. You may need to take more than one medicine.
In recent years, some states have approved marijuana for certain health problems. Some studies support using it for spasticity. Talk to your doctor about whether it is right for you. Find out whether it is a legal option where you live.
Ask your doctor to suggest a safe exercise program. Being active will help your health.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 6/22/2018
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.