What is nonneuropathic pain? That's what the doctor says I have. Even though it's been explained to me, I just can't remember what it is and I don't want to have to ask again. It would be the third time I've forgotten and asked. Maybe if I see it in writing, it will stick with me.

Very simply, nonneuropathic pain is pain that is NOT coming from damaged or irritated nerves. Neuropathic pain -- neuro for nerve and pathic suggest something IS pathologic or wrong with the nerve.

The symptoms from neuropathic pain are different than nonneuropathic pain. When the nerves are compressed, pulled, or irritated, patients report pain, tenderness to touch (or even exquisite pain with touch), numbness, and tingling. Sometimes words to describe temperature point to a neurogenic source: hot, cold, burning, scalding, searing. Neuropathic pain is common when people have peripheral neuropathies from diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of nerve damage or irritation of the nerves to the hands and feet. Pain numbness and tingling are the main symptoms of this condition.

Nonneurogenic pain is more likely to affect the muscles, bones, ligaments, and other connective tissue. Words used to describe nonneuropathic pain are usually what you would say about muscle pain: it's sore, aching, or feels heavy. Some examples of nonneuropathic pain problems are fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and low back pain.

Many people have a combination of both types of pain, which makes it difficult to sort out what is coming from each type of tissue. Determining the type and source of your pain is very helpful in planning the best treatment possible. It sounds like your physician is already tuned into that for you.

Robert H. Dworkin, et al. Development and Initial Validation of an Expanded and Revised Version of the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ-2). In Pain. July 2009. Vol. 144. No. 1-2.Pp.35-42.



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