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How to determine if this is nerve pain or regular pain?

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  • How to determine if this is nerve pain or regular pain?

    I have question regarding pain
    I read here a lot about pain but I still cant determine if my pain is neuropatic/neurological nerve or just regular pain.
    I am quad c5 complete for about 18 years. Since last five months I am having a lot of pain in my right leg. It speeds from my but down to my foot. Like electricity socks. The pain started after one bad car transfer and ride! When I go to bed It get little better or even when I reposition in the wheelchair. Also I noticed that pain sometimes move (knee, but, toes, whole leg). I talk to doctor and did some research I did a X-Ray on my lover spine and The X-rad didn’t show the cause of the pain but MRI show that I have bulgin disc. We are guessing that pain come from sciatica. Pain medicine don’t work on me.

    How to determine if this is nerve pain or regular pain?
    Any suggestion are welcome!
    Thank you
    Sorry on English.

    p.s. I am 18 years post c5 complete an I never had pain before in my leg, it started more then five month ago after a bad car ride!

  • #2
    It sounds like it is nociceptive pain which is mechanically induced nerve pain. That bulging disc that your doctor found is mechanically pushing or 'smushing' (that is english slang for pressing on) the nerve root.

    The good news is that, unlike spontaneous nerve pain that is discussed frequently here, the nociceptive pain that you have can be treated (the bulging disc).

    You would think it was enough just to be a quad. Now you have to deal with a lumbar problem too,ugh..... I am sorry....


    • #3
      Thank you on your answer.
      I think also that my pain is not nerv pain because I know exactly the day when started, I think I know the reason (bad car transfer and bad long car ride same day), pain is situated only in one leg and when I reposition in wheelchair or go to bed it get little better.

      Why I think that I have nerv pain: painkillers don’t work, pain manifest like burning and like electricity snaps, like thousands ants, and last so long...

      how exactly nerv pain start. Can ner pain be situated in only one part of the body(one leg, arm etc.) or need to be both legs or arms? Does nerv pain get better when you reposition or go to bed?

      All suggestion are welcome!


      • #4
        can somebody describe his/her nerve pain symptoms. I know that I can googlit but I would like to hear from quads ans para on this forum. What exactly heart (just one leg or arm or both ), stomach, feet etc. how would you describe that pain ( burning sensation, like electricity, or like thousand ants)
        does sitting or laying down in bed helps?
        thank you


        • #5
          quadc5-croatia - don't hesitate to read through the last 40 threads and I suspect you will find what you are looking for. Just go page by page and you can find ample descriptions from sitting in a frying pan to walking on glass shards that are frozen and burning.


          • #6
            I do not have SCI, but I do have nerve pain and nerve damage.

            For me it feels like electricity shock (I've described it like being shocked by a cattle prod) as well as burning, and pins and needles pain. Yes it is possible to have nerve pain in one part of your body, and for it to get better with certain positional changes. For me the nerve damage is only in my arms and along the outer sides. Mine is caused by damage at the elbow, and certain positions can irritate the nerve causing those electric shocks.

            Nerve pain CAN respond to painkillers, the common ones for nerve pain are gabapentin (neurontin), Pregabalin (lyrica), and Duloxetine (cymbalta).

            The location and description of your pain sounds like the Drs are right and the problem is coming from your sciatic nerve. If you look up sciatica online, you might find some suggestions that can help. Though they my not all be doable with your paralysis, sciatica is frequent in non SCI individuals.
            Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

            I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.


            • #7
              thank you...


              • #8
                I once strained a hip ligament by sitting badly...hurt like heck and took a month or so to heal. It was deep, muscle pain that varied according to how I stretched my leg, not a tingling, burning/icing pain. Maybe this is something that rest and iboprofen could heal.