How To Tell the Difference Between Muscle Pain and Nerve Pain?

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If you’re experiencing pain, it’s crucial to be able to differentiate between muscle pain and nerve pain. Muscles ache after a strenuous workout or when they’re strained, but this type of pain is usually temporary. Nerve pain is more chronic and can be accompanied by other symptoms like tingling or numbness. If you’re not sure what kind of pain you’re experiencing, here are a few tips on how to tell the difference between muscle pain and nerve pain.

As a general rule, there is a difference between muscle pain and nerve pain. Muscles push against bones to create movement. This uses up energy, and your body produces a waste product called lactic acid that makes your muscles feel sore and tired. Nerve pain feels like a sharp, crushing, burning, tingling, or numb feeling. It often hurts on the skin above the nerves.

I can explain the difference between muscle pain and nerve pain. I have been helping people with this problem for 30 years. I have also researched the subject, designed solutions, and even wrote a book about common back problems.

femoral nerve pain

How Do I Know If My Pain Is Nerve Pain?

Do you experience pain that feels shooting, searing, or electrical? Does it feel like it’s coming from deep within the bone? If so, you may be experiencing nerve pain. Nerve pain can be caused by several factors, including injury, inflammation, and disease. It can be challenging to pinpoint the exact source of the pain, but some clues can help.

If you have nerve pain, you may also experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area. The pain may worsen with movement or change in position. Nerve pain is often described as sharp and shooting.

man upper back pain

How Do I Relieve Nerve and Muscular Pain While Sitting?

Sitting for long periods of time can lead to pain in the muscles and nerves. This is because sitting in the same position for extended periods puts pressure on these areas of the body. One way to help relieve this pain is to use an ergonomic seat cushion.

seat cushion piriformis

This type of cushion helps to engage the core muscles, which provides support for the back and relieves pressure on the muscles and nerves. In addition, the ergonomic design of the cushion helps to increase circulation and decreases any inflammation in the area. As a result, using an ergonomic seat cushion is an effective way to reduce pain in the muscles and nerves when sitting for long periods of time.

leg pain sitting

How Do You Know If You Have a Pinched Nerve or Muscle?

Do you have pain that radiates from your shoulder down your arm? Does it feel like your arm is asleep or tingling? You may have a pinched nerve.

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, muscles, or cartilage. This pressure can irritate the nerve and cause pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area.

A pinched nerve can occur anywhere in the body but is commonly seen in the neck, shoulder, and lower back. The symptoms of a pinched nerve are often similar to those of other conditions, such as a herniated disc or arthritis.

running upper back pain

What Does Nerve Pain Feel Like?

Nerve pain can feel like a sharp, shooting pain. It may also feel like a burning, tingling, or electrical sensation. The pain may radiate from the point of injury or pressure to another area of the body.

Nerve pain is often worse at night and can make it difficult to sleep. The pain may interfere with your daily activities and make it difficult to concentrate. Nerve pain can be debilitating and frustrating.

muscular pain

How Do I Know If Pain Is Muscular?

Do you have pain that feels achy or cramp-like? Does it feel better with massage or stretching? If so, you may have muscular pain. Muscle pain is often caused by overuse or injury. It is also caused by conditions such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. The pain usually occurs in the affected muscles or parts of the body.

Muscular pain is often described as a dull ache. It may worsen with activity and be relieved by rest. Treatment for muscular pain typically includes over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, and heat therapy. Physical therapy may also be helpful.

hip pain

How Do You Know If Pain Is Muscular or Skeletal?

Do you have pain that feels like a dull ache or sharp, shooting pain? Does it feel better with ice or heat? If so, you may have either muscular or skeletal pain.

Overuse of or injury to the muscles can lead to muscular pain. Besides fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis, diseases like them can also be caused. Localized pain usually occurs in the affected area of the body or muscle. 

Muscular pain is often described as a dull ache. It may worsen with activity and be relieved by rest. Treatment for muscular pain typically includes over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, and heat therapy. Physical therapy may also be helpful.

Skeletal pain is frequently caused by injury or disease. It can also be caused by conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. The pain is usually localized to the affected bone or area of the body. Skeletal pain is often described as a dull ache. It may worsen with activity and be relieved by rest. Treatment for skeletal pain typically includes over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, and heat therapy. Physical therapy may also be helpful.

relieve leg pain

How Do You Know If Pain Is Joint?

Do you have pain that feels like a dull ache or sharp, shooting pain? Does it feel worse with activity and better with rest? If so, you may have joint pain.

Joint pain is often caused by injury or disease. It can also be caused by conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. The pain is usually localized to the affected joint or area of the body. 

Joint pain is often described as a dull ache. It may worsen with activity and be relieved by rest. Treatment for joint pain typically includes over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, and heat therapy. Physical therapy may also be helpful.

How Do You Know If Pain Is Nerve?

Do you have pain that radiates from your shoulder down your arm? Does it feel like your arm is asleep or tingling? You may have a pinched nerve.

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bone, cartilage, or muscle. This can happen due to an injury, disease, or overuse. The pain is usually localized to the area where the nerve is pinched. A pinched nerve can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area.

arthritis spine

How Do You Know If Pain Is Arthritis?

Do you have pain that feels like a dull ache or sharp, shooting pain? Does it feel worse with activity and better with rest? If so, you may have arthritis.

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It can also cause stiffness, swelling, and warmth in the affected area. The pain is usually localized to the affected joint or area of the body. Arthritis is often described as a dull ache. It may worsen with activity and be relieved by rest.

Where Is Nerve Pain Felt?

nerve pain felt

Nerve pain is felt along the pathway of the nerve that is damaged. The pain may be a sharp, shooting pain or a dull ache. It may also feel like your arm is asleep or tingling. The pain is usually localized to the area where the nerve is pinched. A pinched nerve can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area.

How Long Do Damaged Nerves Take To Heal?

Most damaged nerves will eventually heal on their own. However, some may require surgery to repair the damage. The time it takes for a nerve to heal can vary depending on the type of injury and the severity of the damage. In most cases, minor nerve damage will heal within weeks to months. More severe nerve damage may take several months to a year or more to heal.

knee hurts when sitting

How Do I Know If My Back Pain Is Muscular or Spinal?

Do you have pain that feels like a dull ache or sharp, shooting pain? Does it feel worse with activity and better with rest? If so, you may have back pain.

Back pain can be caused by many different things, including muscle strain, herniated discs, arthritis, and spinal stenosis. The pain is usually localized to the lower back, but it can radiate into the hips, buttocks, and legs. Back pain is often described as a dull ache. It may worsen with activity and be relieved by rest.

What Happens If You Let a Pinched Nerve Go Untreated?

If you let a pinched nerve go untreated, the pressure on the nerve can cause permanent damage. This can lead to numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area. In severe cases, it can lead to paralysis. If you think you may have a pinched nerve, see your doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment can help prevent permanent damage.

woman with low back pain

When Should I Be Worried about Nerve Pain?

You should be worried about nerve pain if the pain is severe and does not go away with over-the-counter pain relievers. You should also see your doctor if the pain radiates from your shoulder down your arm or if you have numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area. If you let a pinched nerve go untreated, the pressure on the nerve can cause permanent damage. This can lead to paralysis. Therefore, it is essential to see your doctor as soon as possible if you think you may have a pinched nerve.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Nerve Pain?

The most common cause of nerve pain is a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bone, cartilage, or muscle. This can happen due to an injury, disease, or overuse. The pain is usually localized to the area where the nerve is pinched. A pinched nerve can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area. If you let a pinched nerve go untreated, the pressure on the nerve can cause permanent damage. This can lead to paralysis. Therefore, it is essential to see your doctor as soon as possible if you think you may have a pinched nerve.

woman trying to sit with piriformis syndrome

Can Nerve Pain Go Away?

Most nerve pain will eventually go away on its own. However, some may require surgery to repair the damage. The time it takes for a nerve to heal can vary depending on the type of injury and the severity of the damage. In most cases, minor nerve damage will heal within weeks to months. More severe nerve damage may take several months to a year or more to heal. If you have severe nerve pain that does not go away with over-the-counter pain relievers, you should see your doctor. Early treatment can help prevent permanent damage.

Conclusion

If you’re experiencing pain, it’s crucial to be able to differentiate between muscle pain and nerve pain. Muscles ache after a strenuous workout or when they’re strained, but this type of pain is usually temporary. Nerve pain is more chronic and can be accompanied by other symptoms like tingling or numbness. If you’re not sure what kind of pain you’re experiencing, here are a few tips on how to tell the difference between muscle pain and nerve pain. Check out our other blogs on ergonomics for more information on how to prevent and treat muscle and nerve pain.

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. Mense, S., 1993. Nociception from skeletal muscle in relation to clinical muscle pain. Pain54(3), pp.241-289.
  2. Mense, S., 2003. The pathogenesis of muscle pain. Current pain and headache reports7(6), pp.419-425.
  3. Cortet, B. and Bourgeois, P., 1992. Causes and mechanisms of sciatic painsLa Revue du Praticien42(5), pp.539-543.
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Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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