What Is Peripheral Nerve Pain?

What Is Peripheral Nerve Pain?

Peripheral nerves are all of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord: the nerves in your arms and legs, in your face, and in your chest, abdomen and back. Whether caused by injury, surgery, or conditions such as diabetic neuropathy or shingles (post-herpetic neuropathy, PHN), damage to the peripheral nerves can lead to chronic pain that is difficult to diagnose and to find solutions to treat.

Our surgeons use cutting-edge treatments for pain caused by injury and/or compression of nerves.

Surgery for Chronic Pain

Many causes of chronic pain can be successfully treated with surgery. Chronic pain after operations, accidents, trauma, and sports injuries that has not been relieved by first-line methods may be due to injury to peripheral nerves. Patients often visit multiple doctors and engage in physical therapy, take medications, have orthopedic treatments or spinal nerve blocks without significant relief. Medications often only reduce or mask the symptoms — unfortunately, patients with chronic pain from peripheral nerve injury rarely experience lasting relief from medications.

New techniques are now available to reduce or eliminate pain for many patients. Neuropax Clinic is one of only a handful of institutions currently offering surgery as an option for patients who have exhausted other methods of treating their pain.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nerve Surgery?



  • Pain in a specific area for more than three months that has not been relieved by other methods like physical therapy or medications.
  • A prior workup by other specialists such as orthopedic surgeons, physical medicine doctors, pain specialists, or neurologists — without discovering an obvious cause for the pain.
  • Prior tests can be particularly helpful in suggesting nerve injury, such as MRIs, EMG/NCV, diagnostic nerve blocks, and MRIs.


       Prior Surgery



How is Nerve Pain Diagnosed?

Diagnosing peripheral nerve injury as the cause for chronic pain is oftentimes quite straightforward. Surgeons at Neuropax Clinic can localize the cause and recommend treatment often within one visit.  The process includes:

  • A thorough patient history – when the pain started, potential causes, locations of pain, prior medical care
  • A focused physical examination – to relate the pain to a particular nerve
  • Nerve block – the doctor may suggest a local anesthetic numbing of the nerve(s) in order to confirm:
    1. That the pain is due to an injured nerve.
    2. Which nerve(s) are involved.
    3. Where is the injury to the nerve.

Learn More About Neuropax Surgeons