How to Diagnose Neuropathic Pain? The Contribution From Clinical Examination, Pain Questionnaires and Diagnostic Tests

Neurol Sci. 2015 Dec;36(12):2169-75. doi: 10.1007/s10072-015-2382-z. Epub 2015 Sep 26.


Patients with peripheral and central nervous system diseases may suffer from different types of pain, namely nociceptive, neuropathic and mixed pain. Although in some cases, the distinction between these types of pain is clinically evident, yet in some patients an accurate differential diagnosis requires dedicated clinical examination, screening questionnaires and diagnostic techniques some of which are available only in specialized pain centres. This review briefly addresses the currently agreed definitions of the different types of pain and shows how clinical examination, pain questionnaires and diagnostic tests can help the clinicians in identifying neuropathic pain.

Keywords: Laser evoked potentials; Neuropathic pain; Screening tools; Skin biopsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine*
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia / diagnosis*
  • Pain Measurement* / methods
  • Physical Examination* / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*