What Happens if you are Diagnosed With Unexplained Pain?

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Amy Baker

Graduate Solicitor Apprentice

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As part of Nervember – the yearly campaign from the International Pain Foundation – we are sharing a number of articles, blogs and case studies to highlight nerve pain as a symptom of an injury and nerve conditions which can develop from other injuries.

In this article, we focus on the term Unexplained Pain, which is often given to patients and people who are claiming for pain  which does not medically have a known cause.

Chronic Pain History

It is sadly our experience at Simpson Millar that when a client reads the words “unexplained pain” in a medical report or words such as “there is no organic explanation for the symptoms” that they feel they have not been believed – this can be a source of real distress.

There is a wide misunderstanding that if somebody is described as having unexplained pain this is saying that they are fabricating their symptoms. 

For people living with pain it can be tough, particularly as pain can be so subjective and they might already be struggling to communicate with their loved ones and their medical practitioners about their pain levels.

It’s important that you have the advice of a personal injury solicitor specialising in chronic pain and psychological injuries if you receive a medical report which notes a finding of unexplained pain. 

A reference to unexplained pain can often be an indicator that you might be suffering from a pain condition or from some psychological symptoms which need further investigation and an examination with another medical expert in a different specialty.

A medical expert witness instructed in a personal injury claim can only provide an opinion on your diagnosis that falls within their field of expertise. So, if they cannot explain your pain or symptoms, there could be another explanation.

If a medical expert does suspect that there may be another possible cause or explanation for the symptoms, they will often suggest the type of other additional medical expert opinion you should seek.  Sometimes, your Solicitor may need to put further questions to the medical expert to question them further on their opinion and ask if they recommend that an additional opinion on the cause of the pain is obtained, for example, from a Consultant in Pain Medicine and / or a psychologist or psychiatrist to find out if there is another cause for the ongoing pain.

Obtaining a further specialist opinion can make all the difference to access the treatment and rehabilitation package to help ease and manage the pain.

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What are the main causes for ongoing pain?

When it comes to cases of persistent pain, it often links back to issues with the peripheral nerves. These nerves act as messengers in the body, relaying signals from the brain and spinal cord throughout the rest of your body. But sadly disruptions can easily arise when the nerve fibres sustain damage.

There are several categories of nerve fibres susceptible to damage:

  • Motor Nerves: These nerves oversee muscle control, including activities like gripping objects, walking, and speech.
  • Sensory Nerves: These are responsible for transmitting sensations like pain and tactile feedback.
  • Autonomic Nerves: These nerves regulate involuntary bodily functions—such as breathing, bladder control, blood pressure, and digestion.

Symptoms from a peripheral nerve injury can differ from one another, and it all depends on the nerve that has been damaged. Sometimes it can include damage to more than one of the different types of nerve fibre.

Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy includes:

  • Gradual increase in numbness, tingling or prickling in your feet and hands. This can spread to your legs and arms.
  • Burning, sharp, stabbing pain.
  • Extreme sensitivity to the touch.
  • Pain during activities that wouldn’t usually cause pain. i.e. a weight of a blanket on the skin.
  • No coordination or falling.
  • Weaker muscles
  • The sensation of wearing socks or gloves when your hands and feet are bare.
  • Unable to move if motor nerves are affected.


Nerve pain feels different for everyone and many people can’t understand what others are going through. Here at Simpson Millar, we are supporting Nervember and every other month – because dealing with pain is a difficult thing to do.

Chronic pain increases with age, and that doesn’t even cover those who are injured in an accident. 16% of people aged 16-34 are dealing with some kind of pain in their life, and over 53% who are 75 years and older.

Pain is real.  Treatment, help and support is available to help you manage your pain. Get in touch with our expert Personal Injury Solicitors for initial legal advice – who can guide you every step of the way.

If you have been injured, whether that’s medical negligence, personal injury, or an accident at work, our solicitors are here to help you get back on track. Dealing with pain is hard enough, and you don’t have to do it alone. Call us on 0808 239 6043 and let us help you.


International Association for the Study of Pain. (n.d.). Nervember. Retrieved from https://internationalpain.org/nervember/

International Association for the Study of Pain. (n.d.). Home. Retrieved from https://internationalpain.org/

WebMD. (n.d.). The Mystery of Neuropathic Pain. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/unexplained-nerve-pain-the-mystery-of-neuropathic-pain

NHS. (n.d.). Peripheral Neuropathy. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/peripheral-neuropathy/

PainScale. (n.d.). November is International Nerve Pain Awareness Month. Retrieved from https://www.painscale.com/article/november-is-international-nerve-pain-awareness-month

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). (n.d.). Chronic pain - Prevalence. Retrieved from https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/chronic-pain/background-information/prevalence/

Amy Baker

Graduate Solicitor Apprentice

Amy is a Graduate Solicitor Apprentice within our Personal injury department, based in our Manchester office.

She helps clients who have sustained injuries resulting from accidents at work and accidents in public places to recover compensation for the injuries they have sustained.

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