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Trapped nerve - common with ME/CFS?

I've been having some nerve pain for the first time ever. It feels like electric shocks. Went to out of hours clinic and we discovered it happens when I twist a certain way.

It's really unpleasant - making me freak out because it's unfamiliar. It's not severe pain, but because it's so new I'm anxious about it. I'm getting more pains through my body as the day has gone on, but I'm not sure if my mind is playing tricks on me - whether I'm feeling my normal aches and misinterpreting them as electricky. The pain in my arm is the strongest. Thankfully it's only occasional.

The dr said it MIGHT be a trapped nerve. She couldn't give me pills cos it was out of hours and it would be better to get someone to oversee the process. But she said treatment would include painkillers for nerve pain, physio, and injections, depending on how this progresses. It might go away. I thought this would be much simpler - like, do this exercise, and it will go away, no pills needed. Or that she could press on one part of my back and everything would be aligned again, but I guess only physios can do that. I thought it was minor and quick to solve. I'm more freaked out now.

Is this particularly common with ME/CFS? Does anyone know if there are specific links between the two? I reckon it's because I've been in bed so much and my core muscles are weaker and maybe I slept on my side too much. Which is all because of ME/CFS.

Arghhh anxious...!

This is the latest I've been out of the house for ages :) proud of myself for being able to walk relatively fast for a couple of mins, AND proud of myself for slowing down in line with what my body needed despite being late for the appt.


Senior Member
You didn't specify the location of your pain. If it is a leg, then you may have "sciatica", meaning a pinched nerve as it leaves the spine, leading to nerve pain in the buttocks, legs or feet. The course of such things varies. If it is from an acutely herniated disk (intervetebral disks can rupture, causing pressure on the nerves that pass by them and dumping "stuff" from inside the disk on the nerve causing inflammation). If this is what you are experiencing, often the problem does resolve with time. Sometimes injections of steroids near the nerve can calm things down until the herniated disk dries up on its own. Other times, if there is severe pressure on the nerve so that you lose the ability to lift your foot, for example, surgery is required to remove the disc fragment.

With aging, the cause of sciatica is more likely from the development of bone spurs on the vetebra, and the pain from this requires a longer term strategy: physiotherapy, injections, and sometimes surgery.

In either case, the notion of "slipped discs" that can be realigned is incorrect. Discs don't "slip." They rupture, and the contents can extrude into the channel through which the spinal nerve passes on its way to your leg. Or, sometimes a piece breaks off of the disk and drifts into the channel, impinging on the nerve.

Similar symptoms can occur from "pinched nerves" in the cervical spine (neck) except the pain will be in your arm or hand. Thoracic pinched nerves cause pain wrapping around from the back to the front.

As far as I know, this is not related to ME/CFS. Sciatica and herniated discs are very common in the general population. An MRI will show a ruptured disc or bone spurs and if the MRI findings fit with your symptoms, you have a diagnosis.

More rarely, Lyme disease can cause similar nerve pain as herniated disks, because the bacteria can cause nerve inflammation, called radicultis (inflammation of nerve roots). In this case, the treatment is antibiotics.

I hope your pain gets better quickly!
Thank you v much @valentinelynx . It's in my upper left arm, but I have been getting other random pains elsewhere - not nearly as badly though. So perhaps there's something wrong in my neck. Going to the dr again today, so maybe I'll find out something more.

You know so much about this! Do you have sciatica?

Useful to know it's not an ME/CFS thing. I don't think I have Lyme disease.