Neuropathic pain can be understood as a burning or shooting pain. In some cases, it can be severe and unrelenting, while in other cases it comes and goes. It usually occurs as a result of a malfunctioning nervous system or nerve damage. The pain may go away on its own, but in most cases, it is usually chronic. Phantom limb syndrome is an example of neuropathic pain. This pain occurs when a limb has been amputated, but the nerves keep sending pain messages to the brain even after the site of amputation has healed completely. Luckily, with the assistance of a pain specialist such as Dr. Mahan Ostadian, this is an issue that can be managed. Below are some important things that you should know about neuropathic pain.
Causes of Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain does not have any obvious cause. It can result from a wide range of causes, including:
- Accidents that damage nerves
- Infections such as HIV, Syphilis, and Shingles
- Surgery such as leg or arm amputation
- Diseases such as cancer, multiple myeloma, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis
Other common causes of neuropathic pain include excessive use of alcohol, carpal tunnel syndrome, facial nerve issues, Vitamin B deficiency, arthritis of the spine, thyroid problems, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain
Each patient may experience neuropathic pain in a unique way. But generally, neuropathic pain can be characterized by symptoms such as:
- Burning, shooting, or stabbing pain
- Numbness and tingling
- Spontaneous pain without a trigger
- Chronic feelings of unpleasantness
- Difficulty resting or sleeping
- Emotional problems such as stress and loss of sleep, resulting from chronic pain
- Pain resulting from events that are typically not painful, such as brushing your hair, being in a cold place, or rubbing against something.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To diagnose neuropathic pain, your doctor will need to conduct a physical exam and ask questions about your experience with the pain, or whether there is a particular thing or activity that triggers it. The doctor may also ask questions relating to risk factors for neuropathic pain. Nerve tests and blood tests may also be necessary.
Once you have been diagnosed with neuropathic pain, there are several treatments that your doctor can try. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants usually form the first line of treatment. Some pain specialists may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There are also patients that may require stronger pain relievers. Other treatments that can be offered to manage neuropathic pain include physical therapy, relaxation therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture.
Overall, it is apparent neuropathic pain can be quite a serious issue. In some cases, it can cause serious disabilities. Thankfully, with the assistance of a good pain doctor, neuropathic pain can be managed. However, it is imperative for you to know that the treatments offered for other common issues may not help with neuropathic. Treating neuropathic pain may call for a multidisciplinary approach instead. If you are looking for a reliable pain specialist to help you with managing neuropathic pain, Republic Spine and Pain is an excellent facility to consider. Feel free to contact or visit the facility today for more information about its practitioners and services.