Neuropathic Pain is one of the severe chronic pain conditions that will affect approximately 10% of Americans by the end of 2022. But,
- How can you define that someone is suffering from Neuropathic Pain?
- What are the sources of chronic neuropathic pain?
- What are the signs or symptoms of Neuropathic Pain?
- And last, how to treat this severe health condition?
Through this blog post, I will try to break down each part of neuropathic pain from the definition to treatment, so you will be able to get detailed information about chronic pain that you need to know. Let us start with the first question:
What Is Neuropathic Pain?
Neuropathic pain or chronic sciatica is severe nerve pain, which is a result of nerve damage or tissue injury. It can affect your leg, arm, or any body part, or it can be a weird feeling in your head that comes and goes frequently. This pain is induced by impairment to the nervous system, despite any physical injury. The damaged nerve tissues alter the functionality of the nervous system and transmit false signals to the brain. These signals are usually faulty because nerves send pain signals to the brain because of a nervous system malfunction.
Types of Neuropathic Pain
Various neuropathic pains or neuropathy can affect different parts of the nervous system and body parts. If one nerve of your nervous system is damaged, it will be called mononeuropathy. However, if two or more nerves are damaged in different body parts, it is known as multiple mononeuropathies.
On the other hand, if more than two nerves are damaged in one or multi-body parts, it is known as polyneuropathy. There are also some following terms of neuropathy that affect different parts of the human body:
- Peripheral Neuropathic Pain Or Peripheral Neuropathy: Neuropathic pain that affects the peripheral nervous system (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord) is known as peripheral neuropathy. It can impact the body’s extremities, including feet, legs, arms, and hands.
- Autonomic Neuropathic Pain Or Autonomic Neuropathy: The autonomic nervous system controls the involuntary actions of the human body, such as breathing and digestion. And when you are suffering from autonomic neuropathy, you can have various health issues, including heart problems, blood pressure, and digestive system issues.
- Focal Neuropathic Pain Or Focal Neuropathy: Focal neuropathic pain is a rare condition such as autonomic or peripheral neuropathy. It usually affects a single nerve within, the head, hand, torso, and leg.
- Proximal Neuropathic Pain Or Proximal Neuropathy: Proximal neuropathy is nerve damage that usually affects only one side of the body. It can be hip, buttock, or thigh. Proximal neuropathic pain can cause severe discomfort, movement issues, as well as weight and muscle loss.
- Diabetic Neuropathic Pain Or Diabetic Neuropathy: Diabetic neuropathy can have any of the above neuropathic pain, but up to fifty percent of people with diabetes can have peripheral neuropathy.
What Causes Neuropathy or Neuropathic Pain?
Various sources can cause neuropathic pain. That is why we tried to divide them into the following four categories to understand better:
Some diseases and conditions can be major causes of neuropathic pain, including:
- Cancer and Chemotherapy and radiation treatments
- Chronic Diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Long-term excessive alcohol intake
Some of the following rare cases of injuries to tissue, muscles, or joints can cause neuropathic pain, such as:
- Herniated discs and spinal cord compression
- back, leg, and hip injuries
- Major accidents can cause nerve damage and more.
Some of the below-mentioned infections are also the reason behind the neuropathic pain, including:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Lyme Disease
- West Nile Virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Hepatitis C
Amputation or Limb loss
Lumb loss or Amputation is a condition when any body part such as an arm, hand, foot, or leg would be removed due to an accident or any disease. After the Amputation, some people feel neuropathic pain implants. Even if the pain is real, it feels like it’s happening in the missing body part because of damage to the nervous system.
Along with the causes mentioned above, some other reasons can cause neuropathic pain. These causes are:
- Arthritis in the spine
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Facial nerve problems
- Vitamin B deficiency
- Thyroid problems
Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain
There is no particular reason for neuropathic pain. It can be slightly different for every person. But, still, there are some common symptoms of neuropathic pain, including:
- A chronic sensation of feeling unpleasant or abnormal
- Burning or Stabbing Pain
- Difficulty sleeping or resting
- Genitofemoral nerve Pain or Numbness
- Spontaneous pain that occurs without trigger
- Tingling and more.
Treatment For Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain studies suggest that antidepressant drugs, anticonvulsant drugs, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can ease pain. However, it depends upon the cause of the pain, so consult with your physician before taking it. A normal dosage of Gabapentin for nerve pain helps sometimes.
If the patient has diabetes and suffers from neuropathic pain, the best treatment for the neuropathic pain will be living management, such as taking healthy food, going for routine exercises, and improving your way of living. Effective living management can also help to control further nerve damage. In some cases, doctors use electrical stimulation to manage pain symptoms.
Some other treatments help to cope with neuropathic pain. They are:
- Massage Therapy
- Medical Marijuana Treatment
- Physical therapy
- Relaxation therapy
- Working with a counselor
There are many causes of neuropathy that can trigger neuropathy. That is why when it comes to nerve pain medication or treatment, the doctor does not suggest you any treatment without knowing the cause. Because if you follow the standard treatment for this pain, then the condition may worsen, and it can affect your physical and emotional well-being. So make sure that you get the proper treatment and consult with your physician from time to time.
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