Pain that doesn’t get better

I’ve spoken about nerve pain before and how it can make getting a useful answer and route forward really hard.

The problems with nerve pain:

  1. Identifying it – it often moves around from place to place and changes
  2. Finding the root cause – where you feel pain may not be the problem area
  3. Treating it – medication often makes little difference and standard physical treatments offer only temporary relief.

And this is why you can be having the best tennis/golfers elbow treatment, the best carpal tunnel treatment, the best knee and leg pain treatment with no effect.

Because it’s actually a problem with the nerve supplying that area not that area itself. The pain comes from somewhere else. So you aren’t treating the root cause.

So how do we find that critical “somewhere else”?

Finding the root cause of pain

If the pain isn’t coming from where you feel it how do we find it?

  1. A thorough clinical and physical assessment – checking not just the painful area but also the areas that can refer pain and are connected to the painful area. This can take a while (which is why it often isn’t done thoroughly)!
  2. Talking to you! I’ve previously listed various symptoms which give critical clues that the pain is related to nerves not the location – it jumps/moves, tingling, pins and needles, sharp or searing (for more information see my previous articles on my blog – if any of these come up when you describe how you feel we’re going to include the nervous system in our check.

Now a key tool in all of this investigation is a system called Dermatomes.

So what’s a Dermatome?

A dermatome is an area of skin that is predominantly supplied by a specific spinal nerve.

There are 30 areas in total, covering the entire body. One for each squishy disc between the bony discs of the spine where a nerve exits the main channel.

And dermatomes follow a general pattern. So, if your pain keeps jumping about within a specific area, or you get tingling or pins and needles across a certain body part, breathing difficulties, loss of sensation or a feeling of cold in a particular part of your body, even a rash, we check to see if these correspond to a dermatome.

Then we can use this information to identify the nerve affected and check the spine and .

So Dermatomes are an amazingly useful diagnostic tool that we can use to identify the root cause of those difficult to treat nerve pain issues. Because if we treat the root cause the symptoms go away.


If you think this describes you and want to know more we are offering a free 1 hour seminar on nerve pain at 11.30 on Wednesday 8 May at The Bodyworks Clinic.

Booking is vital as places are limited so that we can answer your questions.

For more information on nerve pain please check out our website , our Facebook page Bodyworks Health Clinic or call us on 952 883 151.

Email or call us to book your place at our free seminar on Nerve Pain – management and diagnosis.