Neurologic Pain, Injuries, & Conditions
Neuropathic pain occurs when the nerves that transmit data from the skin, muscles, and other body regions to the brain and spinal cord are damaged or injured. Any level of damage to the neurological system, including the peripheral nerves, spinal cord, and brain, can cause pain. A scorching feeling is frequently used to describe the discomfort, and the afflicted regions are often sensitive to touch.
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Most Common Causes of Neuropathic Pain
The four primary categories of the most frequent causes of neuropathic pain are illness, injury, infection, and limb loss.
- Disease: Numerous illnesses and ailments can have complications or exhibit neuropathic pain as a symptom. Multiple sclerosis, multiple myeloma, and various cancers are among them. Neuropathic pain is not a problem for everyone with these illnesses, but it can be for some.
- Injuries: A rare cause of neuropathic pain are injuries to the muscles, joints, or body tissues. Likewise, accidents or conditions affecting the back, legs, or hips can harm nerves permanently. While the wounds may heal, the neurological system damage might not.
- Infection: Although rare, infections can cause neuropathic pain. For example, shingles can cause neuropathic pain along a nerve for several weeks. Postherpetic neuralgia is an uncommon consequence of shingles involving ongoing neuropathic pain.
- Loss of limb. Phantom limb syndrome, a rare kind of neuropathic pain, can develop when an arm or leg is amputated. This is because your brain continues to believe it is still getting pain signals from the amputated limb.
Available Treatments for Neuropathic Pain:
- Anti-epileptics: These medications, mostly used to treat epilepsy can help lessen nerve pain and alleviate neuropathic symptoms.
- Antidepressants: This class of medications is mostly used to treat depression, but it has also been shown to help control nerve pain. Being given an antidepressant does not always indicate that you have depression or are at risk of acquiring it.
- Cream with capsaicin: The cream, made from chili peppers, is absorbed through the skin to lower Substance P levels, a neurotransmitter linked to pain and inflammation.
- Injections/nerve blocks: Although nerve blocks do not last long, they can temporarily lessen pain for a few days or weeks.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): It may be possible to interrupt signals that transport pain impulses to the brain and spinal cord by gently stimulating certain nerve fibers with electrical impulses. This may assist in relaxing the muscles and reducing pain.
- Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS): People who experience challenging-to-treat neuropathic pain are frequently advised to try this therapy. The treatment is similar to TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), except an adhesive pad is inserted beneath the skin with a needle instead of utilizing an electrode on the skin.
- Acupuncture: Treatments with acupuncture can stimulate the neurological system and the body’s natural healing process, which aids in pain management.
- Surgery. Surgery may help relieve pressure on a nerve. The damaged nerve’s outer sheath is opened during a treatment called neurolysis, which allows for the possible removal of scar tissue. However, it is also used to treat diabetic neuropathy. It is a treatment that is more frequently employed to relieve the discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Other treatments. Other therapies that can be used instead of or in addition to standard therapy may also be beneficial to some people. These include practices like reflexology, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and meditation. Certain lifestyle change, such as proper diet and exercise, may also help with pain management.
Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?
Effective neuropathic pain management starts with correct diagnosis and managing curable causes. The all-encompassing strategy offered by our Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers specialists may be advantageous to you. We consider each patient’s situation unique and will work with you through each stage to determine the best method to manage your neuropathic pain. The experts at Lonseth have applied over a decade of knowledge and experience to create a state-of-the-art pain management program aimed at helping patients throughout the New Orleans area get back to a pain-free life.
Neuropathic Pain FAQ
Depending on the form and origin of each patient’s neuropathic pain, their symptoms may vary. Motor, sensory, and autonomic nerves are linked to nerve pain, and each kind of nerve has a unique set of symptoms. However, neuropathy often impacts the hands, feet, and legs. Common signs of nerve pain include tingling or burning in the feet, muscular cramps, difficulty regulating movement in the hands or feet, discomfort, and numbness or loss of feeling.
A few neurotic acute pains have symptoms that emerge out of nowhere and abruptly then go away. For example, sometimes nerve pain can occur, go away, and get worse. Progressive polyneuropathy is the medical term for this type of neuropathy. Patients who raise their activity levels may experience more discomfort.
Your doctor will conduct an interview, physical examination and may also ask for your medical history. They may ask you to describe your pain, when it occurs, or anything that causes the discomfort. The doctor will also inquire about your potential risk factors for neuropathic pain and may require blood and nerve tests before making a final diagnosis.
Despite being challenging to cure, neuropathic pain seldom poses a life-threatening hazard. Instead, combining rehabilitation with assistance for your emotional and mental health will provide the best outcomes. With the aid of a pain expert employing any or all of the approaches outlined above, you will be able to control your pain to a level that improves your quality of life.