Causes of Neurogenic Pain

Learn about neurogenic pain, its causes, risk factors, symptoms, and how to get help at J. Flowers Health Institute.

Table of Contents

Understanding Neurogenic Pain

Neurogenic pain is a broad term to describe all pain resulting from nerve dysfunction in the peripheral or central nervous system. Several forms of nerve problems and associated pain fall under neurogenic pain, including neuropathic pain (nerve damage pain), deafferentation pain (pain from interruption or loss of sensory nerve transmissions), and central pain (pain from wound or injury in the central nervous system).

Neurogenic pain often stems from an injured, diseased, or damaged nerve, which can often feel like an electric shock and present as burning nerve pain. Neurogenic pain is often chronic and lasts for an extended period. Some neurogenic pain includes nerve compression, neurogenic back pain, pain from failed spinal surgeries, nerve pain in the head, or injuries obtained during sports.

Neurogenic Pain Management

Generally, neurogenic pain is challenging to manage because it involves nervous system pain and a total neuropathy cure is not often possible in all cases. Therefore, neurogenic pain management focuses on symptomatic treatment, which offers patients as much relief as possible because the root cause of nerve pain may be difficult to treat completely.
Pharmacological treatments are the most commonly used intervention during the treatment and management of nerve pain. However, when a sole medication has failed to give satisfactory nerve pain relief, a stepwise guideline to relieve neuropathy involves using a combination of efficacious medications for nerve pain relief. Severe nerve pain could even require surgical procedures.

Symptoms of Neurogenic Pain

The varying symptoms of nerve pain depend on the types of nerves affected and their locations. For example, spinal neuropathy (a nerve pain disorder that affects sensory nerves) may show no symptoms at first, or its symptoms may come and go. Still, progressively, the individual begins to experience loss of balance, numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling in the hands and feet.
For instance, autonomic neuropathy affects nerves that control involuntary bodily processes. This condition presents symptoms of spinal neuropathy, including constipation, low blood pressure, loss of bowel control, and rapid heartbeat.

Indications of Neurogenic Pain

In general, there are several forms of nervous system pain, and an individual can notice some or all of the symptoms listed below in cases of neurogenic pain:
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Anxiety
  • Pale skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness from irregular blood circulation
  • Bradycardia, or a slower heart rhythm
  • Faint pulse

Diagnosis of Neurogenic Pain

An experienced health care practitioner can correctly diagnose neurogenic pain by elucidating the causes. The first step involves information gathering; patients must share their symptoms and how the pain affects their daily lives. In addition, patients’ medical history, environmental exposure, and risk of neuropathy are considered. Then, a physical examination is carried out to locate the exact source of pain and help determine the cause.

For a peripheral neuropathy diagnosis, complaints of nerve pain all over the body are most likely observed. This is because peripheral neuropathy can occur from damage to groups of nerves, causing nerve pain in large body regions. Over twenty million people in the U.S. experience peripheral neuropathy, making it a common diagnosis.1
Likewise, in the case of cranial neuropathy, complaints of nerve pain in the head are observed. Thus, determining the root cause of neurogenic pain is paramount in treating nerve pain.

Causes of Neurogenic Pain

The causes of nerve pain are not always physical damage, such as injuries or accidents. Instead, it could be caused by physical conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and shingles. Neuropathy can also be caused by nerve damage, peripheral nerve injury, leprosy, or amputation. More than 25% of patients attend pain clinics for neurogenic pain caused by various reasons.2
Overall, the common cause of neurogenic pain include:

Injury or Trauma to the Spinal Cord

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by falls, violent acts, accidents or diseases, or a sudden and traumatic blow to the vertebral column. Spinal cord injuries result from damage to the vertebrae, spinal cord discs, or the spinal cord. Injury or trauma to the spinal cord can eventually lead to the self-destruction of surrounding nerve cells, which brings about neurogenic pain. Injury to the upper cervical spine can cause nerve pain in the head or even neurogenic back pain.

Other Causes of Neurogenic Pain

  • Car accidents that cause central nervous system damage or spinal cord injury
  • Sports injuries causing trauma to the spine
  • Medications that affect the autonomic nervous system
  • Improper administration of anesthesia to the spinal cord

Neurogenic Pain Risk Factors

Neurogenic pain risk factors increase an individual’s likelihood of experiencing neurogenic pain. Risk factors of neurogenic pain include:3
  • Genetic Disorder: Some disorders affecting the peripheral nervous system can be inherited, such as hereditary sensory neuropathy, hereditary motor neuropathy, and a few others. Genetic blood tests can diagnose hereditary nerve pain disease.
  • Age: The prevalence of polyneuropathy in the general population is around 1% and rises to 7% in older adults. Neuropathy is common among people over sixty-five because the overall state and function of the body decline with age.
  • Other Risk Factors: Other risk factors include diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and high body mass index.

Neurogenic Pain Treatment


There is no standard cure for neuropathy in cases where it is hereditary. Nonetheless, clinicians can provide supportive treatment like physical therapy and pain medication to manage the pain.

Patients might need surgery in cases of severe skeletal or foot deformities. Generally, neurogenic pain treatment is not so straightforward; clinicians should adopt a multidisciplinary approach to treatment to aid neuropathy cure for optimal results.


Nerve pain medications usually include anticonvulsants. Anticonvulsants are medications initially used to help seizures but are commonly used in combination with conventional pain killers for treating nerve pain because they can numb pain signals. Gabapentin, an anticonvulsant, can be used for neurogenic inflammation treatment and burning nerve pain reduction in several cases of nerve pain disorder. Multiple studies have shown gabapentin to be an effective form of treatment for nerve pain.4

Individuals should use these medications in the proper regimen based on intervention by a medical professional who knows about the nervous system and pain.

Multimodal Therapy

Multimodal therapy combines various treatment methods that target different aspects of nerve pain all over the body. The various treatment methods used may include medications, behavioral interventions, and psychotherapy. The multimodal therapy approach combines therapies or treatment methods with modest results when administered alone but with more significant effects in neuropathy cure when put together.

Get Help With Neurogenic Pain at J. Flowers Health Institute

We understand neurogenic pain is a challenging condition to deal with on a daily basis, which is why we offer specialized care to target and manage nerve pain symptoms. The medical team at J. Flowers Health Institute is equipped with experience, knowledge, and evidence-based techniques to help alleviate discomfort and resolve the root causes of any neurogenic pain.

Contact us at J. Flowers Health Institute today to get help and proper treatment for neurogenic pain.