What is Neuropathic Leg Pain?

Neuropathic leg pain (which is brought on by issues with certain nerves), is difficult to control & can have a serious impact on emotional well-being & overall quality of life. It is frequently worse at night, & can seriously disrupt sleep, thereby adding to the emotional effect of sensory nerve damage [1]. To that end, making an appointment with a Pain Specialist as soon as possible (whether the pain is recent or long standing), is the best course of action

Nerve Damage: The Low Down

 Mechanical or chemical irritants can degenerate, compress, or inflame the leg nerves. Moreover, nutritional deficiencies or conditions such as diabetes, can also generate nerve damage. Of note, the specific leg symptoms may differ according to the root cause of the damage [2].

 What Does Nerve Pain Feel Like?

  • A sharp pain
  • A searing pain
  • A shooting pain
  • An electric-like sensation/pain
  • A dull ache
  • A feeling of warm or hot water running down the leg and/or thigh
  • This pain could be constant or intermittent [2].

 Visiting a Pain Consultant

When you have an in-person or online appointment with a Pain Doctor, they  will look at your medical history, and ask you a number of questions to determine the root cause of your neuropathic leg pain. Some of these will relate to your pain, and may include:

  • Does your pain begin in the toes and slowly spread towards your knee?
  • Do you experience numbness in your feet and legs?
  • D you feel weakness in your ankles and toes? (This normally comes about after the condition progresses) [2].

 What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

This refers to damage to one or more nerves that are situated outside the brain and spinal cord, (an area known as the peripheral nervous system) [2].

Common causes of peripheral neuropathy comprise:

  • Diabetes
  • Nerve entrapment or compression
  • Penetrating injuries
  • Trauma
  • Dislocated bones or fracture
  • Radiation
  • Exposure to cold
  • Tumor
  • Intraneural hemorrhage
  • In a small percentage of cases, toxic substances or specific pharmaceuticals
  • Collagen or vascular disorders (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, atherosclerosis, and lupus)
  • Kidney disease
  • An infection
  • A vitamin deficiency
  • Heredity [1].


[1] Columbia University Irvine Medical Centre (2020). “Peripheral Nerve Disorders.”


[2]. Cooper, G. (2019). “Nerve Pain in the Leg.” Spine Health.