How can you tell the difference between muscle pain and nerve pain?

Muscle pain is usually caused by an injury – overuse or extension from exercise or potentially an impact such as a car accident or fall. It manifests itself as a tightness or ache directly in the muscle itself. By flexing or extending the muscle you should feel pain or discomfort.

To alleviate muscle pain try the following therapies:

  • Massages and rest of the affected area
  • Hot and cold heat packs
  • Stretching

Neuralgia or nerve pain can often be caused as a referral pain due to other underlying conditions such as shingles.  Nerve pain may also arise due to trauma or pressure on that particular nerve. Common signs of nerve pain include numbness and tingling and may be a sharp stabbing pain if the affected area is used.

Relieving nerve pain is more complicated and more often than not a professional needs to be consulted. The following can be used with guidance by a medical professional:

  • Oral pain medication
  • Injections into the injured area
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery in more severe cases.