Nerve pain What is it and how can it be treated?

Nerve pain can be debilitating when left untreated. Pain Specialists WA in Perth offer a range of treatment options for nerve pain. 

nerve pain specialist perth
Table of Contents

What is nerve pain?

Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, occurs when the function of the nerve(s) is affected. 

When one single nerve is affected, like in sciatica, the nerve pain is felt in the area where that particular nerve goes.

When many nerves are affected, such as in peripheral diabetic neuropathy, the pain is felt in many different parts of the body.

Nerve pain can be a chronic and debilitating condition with a significant impact on your quality of life.

As a pain specialist, I know it is often difficult to describe the pain that you feel. Unlike the pain you feel from a cut or a bruise, nerve pain can be difficult to locate as it may radiate to different parts of your body. Additionally, nerve pain can be caused by abnormal functioning or damage to the nerves. This can lead to unique and complex sensations that are difficult to describe. 

Dr Reza Feizerfan
Dr Reza Feizerfan

Nerve pain symptoms

Even though it’s challenging to describe nerve pain, neuropathic pain is commonly characterised by:

  • A burning sensation,
  • Tingling,
  • Pins and needles,
  • Bugs or ants crawling,
  • Shooting pain,
  • Numbness,
  • And sometimes pain and ache in a numb area of your body

What causes nerve pain?

Pain management clinic Perth | Nerve pain

Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or dysfunction of the nervous system. This can happen for many reasons. Below, you’ll find a list of factors that can cause nerve pain. 

Pressure on nerves

When there is pressure on a nerve, that pressure can cause nerve pain. Sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome are two examples of mechanical pressure on part of a nerve, causing dysfunction and leading to nerve pain. 

In sciatica, this pressure can be caused by a bulging disc in your spine, a narrowed spinal canal, tight piriformis muscle or even during pregnancy.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, the compression of the median nerve in the wrist is caused by the narrowing of the carpal tunnel, leading to pain in your fingers.


Diabetes is one of the most common conditions that can lead to nerve pain. This is because diabetes can affect the function of small nerves, causing a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy usually starts in the toes or fingers and can spread upwards. 


Infections can cause nerve pain and a typical example of this is shingles. The varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles, stays dormant at the base of the nerve. It may get activated from time to time causing shingles, commonly in the nerve of the chest wall and face. This infection causes dysfunction in the nerve and may cause chronic nerve pain. 


Alcoholic neuropathy is a condition that is caused by excessive and chronic alcohol consumption, which damages the nerves. Symptoms are numbness, tingling, and burning pain in the hands and feet, as well as muscle weakness, coordination problems, and issues with bladder and bowel function. 

Nutritional deficiencies

Some vitamin deficiencies like Vit B12 deficiency can cause abnormal nerve function, leading to nerve pain. 

Certain medications

Chemotherapy is a well-known cause of peripheral neuropathic pain in cancer patients. 

Injury or trauma

While it is not common, nerve pain can result from a nerve injury caused by a fracture or accident. 

Another example is accidental nerve injury after surgery, which can happen during procedures such as hernia repair in the groin, surgeries to the chest, and sometimes spine surgery.

Nerve pain diagnosis and treatment

nerve pain specialist perth


Diagnosing nerve pain is based on taking a detailed medical history, performing a physical examination, and ordering diagnostic investigations such as MRI-scan, CT-scan, and nerve conduction studies. Sometimes specifically designed questionnaires can help with the diagnosis. 


First-line treatment depends on the underlying cause. For example:

  • If your nerve pain is caused by diabetes, we will focus on improving your blood sugar control.
  • If there is a nutritional deficiency, we will typically recommend supplementing with the deficient vitamin or mineral.
  • If there is chronic and excessive alcohol consumption, we will focus on reducing your alcohol intake.

Sometimes we use oral medications working on the nerves. Topical creams, local anaesthetic patches, continuous infusion of local anaesthetics or ketamine, and injections are other treatment options. Some of the injections that can be offered are:

Pain Specialists WA for nerve pain

Pain Specialists WA in Perth is a pain management clinic located in Nedlands and Murdoch. Consultations are available at Hollywood Medical Centre in Nedlands and at Wexford Medical Centre in Murdoch. 

Call Pain Specialists WA in Perth or request an appointment online.