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Nerve pain or Neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain refers to pain caused by damage or dysfunction in the nervous system. Unlike nociceptive pain, which occurs in response to tissue damage or inflammation, neuropathic pain arises from abnormal signaling in the nerves themselves. It can be chronic and persistent, often presenting as shooting, burning, tingling, or electric shock-like sensations.


Healand Clinic has a range of treatments to help alleviate nerve pain or neuropathic pain. You can find a full overview of our pain treatments here.


Here's an overview of neuropathic pain:


Causes

Neuropathic pain can have various underlying causes, including:


Nerve injuries

Trauma, such as accidents, surgical procedures, or nerve compression, can lead to nerve damage and subsequent neuropathic pain.


Diseases or conditions

Certain diseases, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, shingles (herpes zoster), HIV/AIDS, and cancer, can cause nerve damage and result in neuropathic pain.


Nerve entrapment

Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, where a nerve gets compressed or trapped, can cause neuropathic pain.


Spinal cord injury

Damage to the spinal cord can lead to neuropathic pain below the level of the injury.


Medications or treatments

Some medications, such as certain chemotherapy drugs or antiretroviral medications, can cause nerve damage and result in neuropathic pain as a side effect.


Symptoms

Neuropathic pain can manifest in various ways, including:


Shooting or stabbing pain

People often describe neuropathic pain as shooting, stabbing, or like an electric shock.


Burning or tingling sensations

Some individuals experience a persistent burning or tingling sensation, similar to pins and needles.


Hypersensitivity

Affected areas may become hypersensitive, where even a gentle touch or slight pressure can trigger intense pain.


Allodynia

Allodynia refers to the experience of pain from stimuli that are not typically painful, such as light touch or temperature changes.


Numbness

In some cases, neuropathic pain can be accompanied by numbness or a loss of sensation in the affected area.


Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing neuropathic pain can be challenging, as it relies on careful assessment of symptoms and medical history. A thorough physical examination and diagnostic tests, such as nerve conduction studies or imaging, may be performed to identify any underlying nerve damage or disease.


Treatment options for neuropathic pain aim to provide relief and improve quality of life. These may include:


Medications

  • Antidepressants

Certain antidepressant medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), can help alleviate neuropathic pain by modulating nerve signals.

  • Anticonvulsants

Medications originally developed to treat seizures, such as gabapentin or pregabalin, can effectively reduce neuropathic pain by stabilizing nerve activity.

  • Topical medications

Localized treatments, such as lidocaine patches or capsaicin creams, may provide relief for specific areas of neuropathic pain.

  • Opioids

In some cases, opioids may be prescribed for severe neuropathic pain that does not respond to other treatments. However, caution should be exercised due to the risk of dependency and side effects.

  • Physical therapy

Techniques such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or physical therapy exercises may help reduce pain and improve nerve function.

  • Nerve blocks or injections

In certain situations, injecting an anesthetic or corticosteroid medication near the affected nerve can provide temporary pain relief.

  • Complementary approaches

Some individuals find relief through complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage, or relaxation techniques. These approaches may help manage pain.


How can Healand help with neuropathic pain?

We offer a range of therapies that can help with neuropathic pain. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us.





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