Nerve Pain Overview

Nerve Pain

Nerve pain, also known as neuralgia, occurs when the regular function of a nerve in the body is interfered with. This condition can occur anywhere, but is particularly common in the back and neck where degenerative spine conditions frequently cause nerve compression in the spinal column. Treatment options for nerve pain range from noninvasive techniques like physical therapy and the use of pain medications, to highly invasive surgeries that may require the installation of hardware or bone grafts.

Nerve pain is something that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their lives. A pinched nerve can happen playing sports or doing yard work, and in most cases the pain will subside after a few days with a little rest and some over-the-counter pain medication. However, if your pain continues or seems to be worsening, it’s a good idea to visit your physician to determine the source of your pain.

Causes of Pain

One of the most common causes of neuralgia – outside of minor injury – is the presence of a degenerative spine condition in the spinal column. These conditions are often the result of nothing more than the natural aging process and are largely unavoidable. Some examples of degenerative conditions include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Osteophytes
  • Calcified ligaments
  • Inflamed soft tissue
  • And more

These conditions are not necessarily symptomatic by themselves, but when herniated disc material, a bone spur, or inflamed tissue comes into contact with a nerve root or the spinal cord, mild to severe nerve pain can occur.


In most cases, nerve pain can be managed with a combination of nonsurgical treatments, such as pain medication, physical therapy, and hot/cold compresses over several weeks. In the event that you do not find the pain relief you require from noninvasive treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our minimally invasive, outpatient techniques.