Nerve pain can develop after damage to nerve tissue (such as stroke, paraplegia, or nerve inflammation in case of diabetes). This pain is the result of abnormal conduction of pain stimuli in nerves. You can compare this with a wrongly connected telephone wire, which keeps the phone constantly ringing. The nervous system is then constantly put into action because it ‘thinks’ that there is tissue damage somewhere.
This kind of pain is often not easy to reduce with the ‘regular’ painkillers. In the case of nerve pain, the doctor often provides a medicine that slows the stimulus conduction in nerves. For this we often use antidepressants and anti-epileptics.
It is good to realize that these tablets are not prescribed because the doctor thinks that ‘it is between the ears’. These drugs are specially prescribed for the pain. Commonly used tablets are amitriptyline (Tryptizole, Sarotex) and carbamazepine (Tegretol).
Another way to combat pain is to mute the nerve that carries the pain stimuli. This is generally called a nerve block. Modern nerve blocks are safe and do not damage nerves.
On the other hand, there are types of pain that are caused by abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. It makes less sense to dampen nerve conduction and you may experience little result from a nerve block. You will then have to look for another treatment to reduce your pain complaints.