Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic Pain is a complex, chronic pain state that usually is accompanied by tissue injury. With neuropathic pain, the nerve fibers themselves might be damaged, dysfunctional, or injured. These damaged nerve fibers send incorrect signals to other pain centers. The impact of a nerve fiber injury includes a change in nerve function both at the site of injury and areas around the injury. (ClevelandClinic.org)

Neuropathic pain – otherwise known as nerve pain – is a type of chronic pain that occurs when nerves in the central nervous system become injured or damaged. If you or someone you care about has nerve pain, you know that it can erode quality of life.

Neuropathic pain is often described as a shooting or burning pain. It can go away on its own but is often chronic. Sometimes it is unrelenting and severe, and sometimes it comes and goes. It often is the result of nerve damage or a malfunctioning nervous system. The impact of nerve damage is a change in nerve function both at the site of the injury and areas around it.

One example of neuropathic pain is called phantom limb syndrome. This rare condition occurs when an arm or a leg has been removed because of illness or injury, but the brain still gets pain messages from the nerves that originally carried impulses from the missing limb. These nerves now misfire and cause pain.

Causes of Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain often seems to have no obvious cause. But some common causes of neuropathic pain include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Amputation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diabetes
  • Facial nerve problems
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nerve or spinal cord compression from herniated discs or from arthritis in the spine
  • Shingles
  • Spine surgery
  • Syphilis
  • Thyroid problems

Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain

Symptoms

Every nerve in your peripheral system has a specific function, so symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected. Nerves are classified into:

  • Sensory nerves that receive sensation, such as temperature, pain, vibration or touch, from the skin
  • Motor nerves that control muscle movement
  • Autonomic nerves that control functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder

Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy might include:

  • Gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands, which can spread upward into your legs and arms
  • Sharp, jabbing, throbbing or burning pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Pain during activities that shouldn’t cause pain, such as pain in your feet when putting weight on them or when they’re under a blanket
  • Lack of coordination and falling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Feeling as if you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re not
  • Paralysis if motor nerves are affected

If autonomic nerves are affected, signs and symptoms might include:

  • Heat intolerance
  • Excessive sweating or not being able to sweat
  • Bowel, bladder or digestive problems
  • Changes in blood pressure, causing dizziness or lightheadedness

Peripheral neuropathy can affect one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathy) or many nerves (polyneuropathy). Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of mononeuropathy. Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy.

Neuropathic Pain Treatment

Treatment

Treatment goals are to manage the condition causing your neuropathy and to relieve symptoms. At Alimran Medical Center, we may recommend any of the following treatments

Pulsed radiofrequency

Botox® injections

Acupuncture

Regenerative medicine treatment (Prolotherapy)

Ozone injection

SpineMED® system

Sigma

Neurons stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, rTMS

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

Steroid injection

  • Trigger point injections
  • Epidural steroid injections

Physiotherapy

Chiropractic