Nerve Pain

Nerve pain has become something of a catch phrase on TV ads for one medication or another. Sometimes called neuralgia or neuropathic pain, it occurs when a health condition directly affects the nerves that carry pain sensation and is typically different to other types of mechanical or inflammatory pain. It may occur following a disease or injury, for instance 'shingles' often results in what is known as 'post herpetic pain' because it is caused by the varicella-zoster virus lodging in a nerve root. The damage might cause the nerves to misfire and send pain signals to the brain that may feel like burning, shooting or stabbing pains. Nerve entrapment in the case of a disc protrusion for example, may damage the nerve and cause neuropathic type pain. Treating the source of this pain is usually the first step, and it is in this that Physiotherapy can sometimes be highly effective.


  • Nerve pain cannot be treated with Physiotherapy.
  • Nerve pain means your nerve is pinched.
  • Sciatica in your leg means you probably need surgery to fix it.
  • All nerve pains come from the spine.
  • Stretching nerves will help fix the pain.


  • There are many factors influencing ‘nerve pain’. Some issues relate to spinal structures (for example disc protrusions), whilst other problems may arise from peripheral irritations in the limbs. Physiotherapists are highly skilled in diagnosing the source of nerve pain.
  • Nerve pain is triggered by inflammation, not compression. A compressed nerve may cause weakness or numbness amongst other signs, but not pain.
  • Nerves are very sensitive, when irritated they will generally be made worse by vigorous stretching.
  • Scans are usually only needed if you have had a traumatic injury or are not progressing with conservative treatment in an appropriate time frame.
  • Gentle exercise, targeted treatment, and medications can all assist in reducing nerve pain.
  • Surgery is indicated in only a small minority of cases.

How can the team at Belmont City Physiotherapy help you?

  • We can diagnose the cause of your pain, implement appropriate treatment, and determine whether you need further investigations
  • In most cases we can set you a specific program to get you strong, in control of your pain and back to the activities you enjoy.
  • We can develop a home based, gym or Clinical Pilates program to help you gain control of your problem.
  • We can communicate with your GP or medical specialist as required.
  • We can look after your needs post operatively should surgery be required.