Neuropathic pain is a severe burning or shooting sensation. This is a condition that is more often chronic. Neuropathic pain is typically caused by severe, progressive nerve disease. This causes damage to various levels of the nervous system; the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Also, it can be as a result of infection or damage. It mainly affects the lower back, limbs, and neck. Neuropathic pain can be constant, the recurrent feeling of burning and shooting accompanied by loss of sensation or numbness.
Unfortunately, neuropathic pain is widespread in the US. Researches show that based on best estimates, the prevalence of neuropathic pain among Americans may be between 6.9-10 percent. With chronic pain affecting over 20% of people in the US, neuropathic pain is the leading cause of pain. Populations most likely to experience this kind of pain include manual workers, women, people unable to work, people who are 50 years and above, and rural residents.
Causes Of Neuropathic Pain
The main causes of this form of pain can be categorized into four; disease, infection, injury, and loss of limb.
Other diseases that cause neuropathic pain include:
- Thyroid problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Facial nerve issues like trigeminal neuralgia
- Connective tissue disorders
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Multiple myeloma
Even when muscle, tissue, or joint injury has healed or leg, back, or hip problems improve, sometimes damage to the nervous system might not go away. Trauma caused by spinal injuries like spinal cord compression and herniated disc can also damage your nerves near the spine. Also, iatrogenic injuries that happen when doctors cut nerves during a surgical operation can cause chronic neuropathic pain.
Lyme disease, shingles, HIV infection and AIDS, Syphilis, hepatitis B and C, Epstein-Barr virus, leprosy, and diphtheria can also cause neuropathic pain.
When your hand or arm is amputated, you can suffer nerve pain. This is because the nerves near the amputated part may send incorrect signals to the brain, making it feel like the removed limb is in pain.
Neuropathic Pain Treatments
Neuropathic pain treatment aims to know the underlying condition or disease causing the pain and treat it if possible.
The main aim of your pain specialist is to offer pain relief, assist you in maintaining your usual capabilities regardless of the pain, and enhance your life quality. Some of the common treatments include:
NSAIDs like Motrin and Aleve can sometimes be used to treat this kind of pain. Unfortunately, many people don’t find these medicines effective for neuropathic pain, since they do not target the primary source of the pain.
These kinds of drugs have shown positive results in treating symptoms. Two common types of these drugs are prescribed to patients with the following conditions.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
These drugs may treat the pain and the symptoms of anxiety or depression caused by chronic pain.
This is an invasive procedure whereby a surgeon implants a device in your body. Doctors can implant the device in the spine or the brain. After the device is in place, it will send electrical impulses into the spinal cord, brain, or nerves. These impulses may control symptoms and end the irregular nerve signals.
Get Help With Neuropathic Pain Today
If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from this chronic condition, it’s time to see a doctor. Ensure you visit a doctor for the correct diagnosis and a treatment plan. When you get proper treatment, you may find relief from neuropathic pain and live a quality life.
Contact the Southern Pain Clinic team for help or fill out the form below, and start your treatment today.