Neuropathic pain can happen if your nervous system is damaged or not working right. You can feel pain from the peripheral nerves, the spinal cord, and the brain, which are all parts of the nervous system.
The brain and spinal cord make up what is called the central nervous system. Peripheral nerves are those that go to other parts of your body, like your organs, arms, legs, fingers, and toes.
When nerve fibres are damaged, they send the wrong message to pain centres. Damage to a nerve can change how it works at the site of the damage and in other parts of the central nervous system (central sensitization).
Neuropathy is a change in the way one or more nerves work or how they work. About 30% of cases of neuropathy are caused by diabetes. It’s not always easy to figure out where the nerve pain is coming from. There are a lot of different illnesses that can cause this kind of pain.
SIGNS AND REASONS
What are some things that can cause nerve pain?
- Diseases, such as alcoholism, can cause pain that comes from nerves.
- Facial nerve problems.
- Either HIV or AIDS.
- Central nervous system disorders (like a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
- Syndrome of complex regional pain.
- Postherpetic neuralgia is the name for pain that doesn’t go away after you’ve had shingles.
- Chemotherapy drugs are another cause (cisplatin, paclitaxel, vincristine, etc.).
- Therapy with radiation.
- Phantom pain can be caused by amputation.
- Spinal nerve compression or inflammation.
- Trauma or surgery that damaged the nerves.
- Tumours that press on nerves or grow into nerves.
What signs do you have of neuropathic pain?
If you have neuropathic pain, you might have a lot of different signs. Some of these signs are:
Pain that comes on its own (pain that isn’t caused by anything else): Pain that shoots, burns, stabs, or feels like an electric shock; tingling, numbness, or a “pins and needles” sensation.
Evoked pain: Pain caused by things that usually don’t hurt, like cold, a light brushing against the skin, pressure, etc. Allodynia is the name for this. Evoked pain can also mean that something that normally hurts, like a pinprick or heat, makes the pain worse. Hyperalgesia is the name for this kind of pain.
A painful, strange feeling that comes on by itself or is caused by something (dysesthesia).
Pain and trouble sleeping can make it hard to sleep and cause emotional problems.
Pain that might not hurt as much in response to something that usually hurts (hypoalgesia).
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTS
How do doctors figure out if someone has neuropathic pain?
Your doctor or nurse will ask you about your health history and do a physical exam. If your doctor knows or thinks you have nerve damage, they will be able to recognise the typical signs of neuropathic pain. Then, your doctor will try to find out what’s causing the neuropathy and track down the symptoms.
HOW TO MANAGE AND TREAT
The goals of treatment are to Treat the disease that is causing the problem (for example, radiation or surgery to shrink a tumour that is pressing on a nerve).
- Provide pain relief.
- Keep things working.
- Better the way of life.
Most of the time, neuropathic pain needs to be treated with a combination of medicines, physical therapy, counselling, and sometimes surgery.
Pregabalin, which is sold under the brand name Lyrica®.
Antidepressants like are also given by doctors.
If your pain specialist gives you a prescription for anti-seizure or anti-depressant medicine, it doesn’t mean you have seizures or are sad. But it is true that anxiety or depression can make long-term pain worse.
On the painful area, you can put on patches, creams, or ointments that contain lidocaine or capsaicin. Opioid painkillers are less effective at treating pain caused by nerve damage, and their side effects may make it hard to use them for a long time.
Pain specialists can also give nerve blocks, which are injections of steroids, local anaesthetics, or other medicines into the nerves that are causing pain.
Spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, and brain stimulation can all be used to treat neuropathic pain that hasn’t been helped by the above treatments.
How will people with neuropathic pain get better?
Neuropathic pain is hard to cure, but it usually doesn’t threaten your life. The best results will come from combining rehab with help for your emotional, social, and mental health. With the help of a pain specialist and some or all of the above methods, you will be able to control your pain to a level that makes your life better.