Neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, is frequently described as sharp, stinging, or burning and is one of the most intense types of chronic pain. It is pain caused by damaged nerves or a nervous system disorder. Although nevre pain can be incapacitating, it is treatable with medications that alter the way the brain interprets pain.
Numerous phrases are used to describe nevre pain, including:
Assault or “electrical shock”
Burning or “hot” Prickling, “pins and needles,” or “pins and needles”
Neuropathic pain can be continuous or intermittent. Similarly, nevre pain can range from mild and irritating to severe and incapacitating.
Neuropathic pain is typically worse at night, which can interfere with sleep. Also, it tends to flare up during rest, which may interfere with relaxation or mealtime. In general, the effect of nevre pain on a person’s quality of life can result in psychological issues such as depression and anxiety.
There are numerous possible causes of neuropathy. Some types of nevre pain, for instance, are caused by medications, such as certain chemotherapy drugs. Others may be caused by a disorder of the nervous system, such as:
Neuropathic pain is also prevalent in conditions where nerves are inflamed or compressed, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica. Trauma, such as spinal cord injuries in which nerves are damaged or severed, can also result in nerve pain.
Phantom limb pain is another nevre pain disorder in which pain is perceived as emanating from an amputated limb.
Unfortunately, the origin or cause of certain types of nevre pain is unknown or incompletely understood. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is one such condition. Despite the fact that the exact cause may not be known, the pain is very real.
A detailed medical history and physical examination are usually sufficient to determine the “why” behind a person’s neuropathy when diagnosing neuropathic pain. However, sometimes a specialist, such as a neurologist, is required to make the diagnosis.
Blood tests, nerve tests, such as electromyography (EMG), or imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain or spinal cord, may be necessary to confirm this diagnosis.
Typically, nevre pain is treated by addressing the underlying cause. Optimizing blood glucose (sugar) control is an essential next step, for instance, if a patient has neuropathy due to diabetes. Keep in mind, however, that enhanced glucose control cannot typically reverse neuropathy, although it can prevent its progression and alleviate existing symptoms.
If a medication is causing debilitating nerve pain, for instance, its removal or a reduction in dosage may be all that is required.
In addition to treating the underlying cause, medication is frequently required to manage neuropathy pain.
For the vast majority of patients, nevre pain is treated by administering one of the following: