What Kind of Nerve Pain Is It?

Numb Fingers?

Nerve damage may cause loss of sensation or numbness in the fingertips, making it hard to do things with your hands. Knitting, typing, and tying your shoes may become difficult. Many people with nerve damage say that their sense of touch feels dulled, as if they are always wearing gloves.

Facial Pain?

Do you have severe shooting or electric pains in the cheek or jaw? It could be a nerve condition called trigeminal neuralgia. Irritation or damage to a nerve in the face can cause it.

Trigeminal neuralgia is especially common in women over age 50. While hard to control, medications and other treatments can make a difference. See your primary doctor or a neurologist and get help.

Thyroid and Pain

Along with nerve pain, do you have symptoms such as cold sensitivity, low body temperature, hair loss, achiness, or weight gain? Ask your doctor if you should have your thyroid levels tested. Thyroid problems can cause all of these symptoms; they also can worsen or cause nerve pain. Fortunately, treatment can make a big difference.


Nerve damage doesn't only hurt. In some cases it may not hurt at all. Instead, it may cause numbness, tingling, prickling, and a loss of reflexes. Never ignore these symptoms -- get them checked out by a doctor right away. Unless it's treated, nerve damage often gets worse.

Feeling Weak

Nerve damage can cause muscle weakness. Depending on where the nerve damage is, you may have trouble gripping things, standing, or walking. Treatment, physical therapy, and assistive devices such as canes and splints can help control the problem.

Walking on Glass?

While it may start with minor numbness, untreated nerve pain in the feet can feel like a burning or tingling sensation. Nerve damage in the feet is a common symptom of diabetic neuropathy. If you have any changes of sensation in your feet, especially if you have diabetes, see a doctor right away.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 22, 2019



American Chronic Pain Association: "Frequently Asked Questions."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Diabetic Neuropathy."

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet" and "Trigeminal Neuralgia Fact Sheet."

National Pain Foundation.


© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.