Cancer. Cancer can cause nerve pain and nerve damage in multiple ways. In some instances, cancerous masses may push against or crush nerves. In other cases, certain types of cancer may result in nutritional deficiencies that affect nerve function. Additionally, some types of chemotherapy and radiation may produce nerve pain and nerve damage in certain individuals.
Compression/trauma. Anything that results in trauma or compression of nerves can result in nerve pain and nerve damage. This includes pinched nerves in the neck, crush injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Diabetes. About 25% of people with diabetes suffer from nerve damage, which becomes more likely as the disease progresses. Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication and may affect all three types of neurons. Sensory nerves are most often affected, causing burning or numbness. If you have diabetes and are experiencing symptoms of nerve pain or nerve damage, you should consult a medical professional as soon as possible.
Drug side effects and toxic substances. Various substances that are taken into the body intentionally or unintentionally have the ability to cause nerve pain and nerve damage. These include medications, such as some chemotherapies for cancer and certain drugs used to treat HIV. Toxic substances that may be ingested accidentally, including lead, arsenic, and mercury, may also cause damage to your nerves.
Motor neuron diseases. The motor neurons are nerves in your brain and spinal column that communicate with the muscles throughout your body. Diseases that affect these nerves, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, can result in progressively worsening nerve damage.
Nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies of certain nutrients, including vitamins B6 and B12, may produce symptoms of nerve pain and nerve damage, including weakness or burning sensations. Nutritional deficiencies that cause nerve damage may also result from excessive alcohol ingestion or develop after gastric surgery.
Infectious disease. Certain infectious diseases have the ability to affect the nerves in your body. These conditions include Lyme disease, the herpes viruses, HIV, and hepatitis C.