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What Is This Pain? Find the Answer With This Helpful Tool

Written by Mia Dacumos, MD · Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Updated May 24, 2023

    What Is This Pain? Find the Answer With This Helpful Tool

    Chronic pain is a type of pain that lasts for over 3 months. It may come and go. It manifests in the back, neck, joints, and all over the body1. It is caused by conditions like cancer, arthritis, and neuropathic or nerve pain1.

    But how do you know if the chronic pain you’re experiencing is due to nerve pain? To differentiate nerve pain from other conditions that cause chronic pain, you may use pain assessment tools. These are a guide for people to understand what is causing them pain. 

    What Is Neuropathic Pain?

    Neuropathic or nerve pain is defined as “Pain caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system2.” The somatosensory nervous system is the part of the nervous system that has to do with touch, pressure, pain, temperature, and others3.

    A person’s nerves may get damaged due to an accident, or illness such as diabetes or shingles. Nerve pain commonly affects a person’s hands or feet, but it can also affect other parts of the body.

    Neuropathic pain may also get worse over time if a patient doesn’t seek treatment. If left untreated, nerve pain can cause anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep4. Coupled with the chronic pain, this can significantly decrease a person’s quality of life.

    This is why it’s important to know when to seek help. Early treatment can help manage nerve pain before it becomes unbearable.

    What Pain Assessment Tools Can You Use?

    Pain assessment tools can help people have an idea if they are experiencing nerve pain. However, these tools are not a replacement for a proper diagnosis from a doctor. These tools can serve as a guide for you to better understand what pain you’re experiencing, and if you need to see a doctor urgently.

    One of the simplest ways to tell if you might be experiencing neuropathic pain is to identify the specific sensation you’re experiencing. Some common sensations usually associated with neuropathic pain include5:

    • Tingling
    • Electric shock-like sensation
    • Numbness
    • Shooting
    • Burning

    Neuropathic pain can also be experienced as hyperalgesia and allodynia6. Hyperalgesia is an increased response to a normally painful sensation, while allodynia is pain caused by a sensation that isn’t usually painful.

    When you suffer hyperalgesia, a normally painful pin prick or exposure to high temperatures may cause significantly more pain7. A person with allodynia may experience pain from lightly brushing their hair, or shaving their face8.

    Online Pain Assessment Tool

    If you want to check if the pain or sensations you are experiencing is nerve pain, you can also take our online pain assessment tool here: [link]

    This simple online quiz can help you determine if you are suffering nerve pain.

    What Should You Do About Neuropathic Pain?

    If you think that you might have neuropathic pain, avoid evaluating your own symptoms. Instead, seek professional help so you can be properly assessed. Your doctor will use more advanced pain assessment tools and techniques in order to determine whether or not your pain is caused by nerve damage.

    If you believe you might be experiencing nerve pain, you can find a list of certified neurologists here.


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    Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila


    January 6 2023


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Written by

    Mia Dacumos, MD

    Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

    Updated May 24, 2023

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