Nerve Root Pain vs. Peripheral Neuropathy – How to Tell the Difference

Category: Nerves | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 3, 2015

spinal nerve pain

Many spine conditions present similar, seemingly identical symptoms. It is essential to narrow down the exact cause of your symptoms before moving forward with treatment. With that in mind, this article will discuss the similarities and differences between nerve root pain and peripheral neuropathy back pain.

Peripheral Neuropathy Defined

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that results from damage to the peripheral nerves, which send pain signals and control movement throughout the body. Symptoms of the condition can include pain, weakness, and numbness in the hands, feet, and throughout the body.

Spinal Nerve Pain

The spinal nerves are part of the central nervous system, rather than the peripheral nervous system. These nerves are much more essential to our overall bodily function. If a peripheral nerve is damaged, it may cause decreased sensation in your fingertips. If a spinal nerve is destroyed, it can cause full lower body paralysis. Spinal nerve pain typically presents with back pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and potentially bowel control issues.

Telling the Difference

Getting to the bottom of the source of your back pain is the first step every patient needs to take before deciding on a course of treatment. Typically, spinal nerve injuries will present pain in the back and numbness in the legs. On the other hand, peripheral nerve pain is more likely to present with tingling and numbness in the fingers, feet, and other areas further from the spine. That being said, both conditions can be associated and occur simultaneously.

Minneapolis Spine Doctor

If you are experiencing pain or numbness in your back, legs, or extremities, make an appointment with a spine physician right away for diagnosis and treatment. Nerve conditions need to be taken seriously and addressed quickly to prevent lasting damage. So don’t hesitate – contact a skilled spine specialist immediately if you have symptoms of a spinal nerve condition.

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