Neuropathic pain is a sort of pain that is frequently persistent. It is usually caused by a chronic, progressive nerve illness, but it can also be caused by an injury or an infection.
Chronic neuropathic pain can strike without warning and without apparent explanation. Acute nerve damage pain, albeit uncommon, can occur.
Non-neuropathic pain, often known as nociceptive pain, is usually the result of an injury or sickness. If a heavy book is dumped on your foot, your nervous system will quickly convey pain signals.
The discomfort associated with neuropathic pain is rarely the result of an incident or injury. Instead, the body only alerts the brain to discomfort.
This form of discomfort might create shooting or scorching sensations. The discomfort could be persistent or intermittent. It’s also common to feel numbness or a loss of sensation.
Neuropathic pain typically worsens with time
One out of every three Americans suffers from chronic discomfort. One in every five of them suffers from neuropathic pain. According to a 2014 study, up to 10% of Americans may experience nerve damage pain. Understanding the various causes can help you find better therapies and ways to keep the pain from worsening over time.
What causes neuropathic pain? Illness, injury, infection, and limb loss are the four primary categories of the most common causes of neuropathic pain.
Numerous illnesses and ailments might result in complications or nerve damage pain as a symptom. Among them include multiple sclerosis, multiple myeloma, and various malignancies. Neuropathic pain does not affect everyone with these disorders, but it can be a problem for some.
Diabetes, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is responsible for 30% of neuropathic cases. Chronic diabetes may have an effect on your nervous system.
Diabetes patients typically experience limb and finger numbness and loss of feeling, followed by discomfort, burning and stinging.
Finally, cancer treatment can cause neuropathic discomfort. Both radiation and chemotherapy have an effect on the neurological system and might cause unusual pain feelings.
Injuries to any area of the body
Injuries to the muscles, joints, or bodily tissues are a rare cause of neuropathic pain. Similarly, injuries or illnesses affecting the back, legs, or hips can permanently impair nerves.
While the wound may heal, the harm to the nerve system may not. As a result, you may experience discomfort for years after the injury.
Spinal injuries caused by accidents or other causes can also result in nerve damage pain. Herniated discs and spinal cord compression can injure the nerve fibers that surround your spine.
Infections rarely cause neuropathic pain
Shingles, caused by the reintroduction of the chicken pox virus, can induce neuropathic pain along a nerve for several weeks. Postherpetic neuralgia is an uncommon shingles condition characterized by chronic neuropathic pain.
A syphilis infection can sometimes cause stinging, searing pain that cannot be explained. HIV patients may experience this unexplainable ache.
Phantom limb syndrome, a rare type of nerve damage pain, can arise after an arm or leg is amputated. Your brain believes it is still receiving pain signals from the amputation.
The nerves near the amputation, on the other hand, are misfiring and delivering erroneous signals to your brain, which is exactly what is happening. Phantom pain can affect regions of the body other than the arms and legs, such as the fingers, toes, penis, or ears.
A lack of vitamin B, palmar-plantar syndrome, thyroid disorders, Facet nerve issues, and spinal arthritic disease are some of the additional causes of neuropathic pain.
Although each person’s neuropathic pain symptoms may differ significantly
the following are common: Pain that is stabbing, burning, or shooting, tingling, and numbness, or a sensation of “pins and needles,” spontaneous pain, or discomfort that develops without cause, evoked pain, also known as pain brought on by circumstances that aren’t normally painful, such as brushing your hair, rubbing up against something, or being in a cold environment.
a continuous sense of uneasiness or strangeness, difficulty sleeping or relaxing, emotional troubles caused by chronic pain, sleep loss, and difficulty expressing your emotions
One of the goals of treating nerve damage pain is to identify and cure the underlying sickness or condition that is causing the pain.
Your doctor will prioritize reducing your pain, assisting you in continuing with everyday activities despite the pain, and improving your overall quality of life.
The following are the most common neuropathic pain treatments:
However, because these drugs do not address the source of the pain, many people find them useless for treating neuropathic pain.
Prescription medications, Opioid medicines are often less effective than other types of pain in treating nerve damage pain. Furthermore, doctors may be cautious to prescribe them for fear of a patient developing a habit.
Additionally, topical analgesics may be used. Prescription-strength ointments and lotions, capsaicin patches, and lidocaine and lidocaine patches are examples.
Antidepressant medications have shown tremendous promise in treating neuropathic pain complaints. Tricyclic mood stabilizers and inhibitors of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake are the most common antidepressant medications used to treat this problem. These medications may be used to treat both the pain and the symptoms of anxiety or depression caused by chronic pain.
Anticonvulsants and anti-seizure medications are routinely used to treat neuropathic pain. Gabapentinoids are most commonly used to treat nerve damage pain.
Researchers believe anti-seizure medications benefit people with this illness because they block pain signals and interrupt aberrant impulses.
Your doctor may inject blocked nerves, steroids, local anesthetics, or other medicines into the nerves considered to be in charge of the incorrect pain messages. Because these blocks are temporary, they must be repeated in order to keep the system running.