What is neuropathic pain? How do you know if the pain you are experiencing is neuropathic pain or a different type of pain?
Neuropathic pain is nerve pain and is one of the many classes of chronic pain.
Neuropathic pain can be very complex and is often caused by nerve damage, irritation, or destruction.
When you hear someone talk about neuropathic pain, they are usually talking about the pain associated with the peripheral nervous system.
Your peripheral nervous system includes the nerves throughout your body except for the nerves in your brain and spinal cord.
Your peripheral nervous system sends messages to your brain and spinal cord that make up your central nervous system.
People that have neuropathy can experience it in several different ways.
In the article below, we will discuss what neuropathic pain may feel like to you, and how Ethos Health Group can treat neuropathy pain.
What is Neuropathic Pain?
Neuropathic pain occurs if your nervous system is damaged or stops working correctly.
You could feel pain from any of the various levels of the nervous system, including your peripheral nerves, spinal cord, and your brain.
There are 3 types of peripheral nerves, the motor nerves, sensory nerves, and atomic nerves. Neuropathy can can affect one, or all of these nerves.
When your nerves are damaged, they will send the wrong signals to your pain centers.
Your nerve function may change at the site of the nerve damage and the areas in the central nervous system, which is known as central sensitization.
Neuropathy is a disturbance of function or change in one or several nerves.
Diabetes is a major cause of neuropathy, responsible for about 30% of neuropathy cases.
However, there are hundreds of diseases linked to neuropathic pain.
What Are The Causes of Neuropathic Pain?
Sometimes you can experience neuropathic pain, and your doctors won’t be able to pin down a cause.
But there are several injuries and diseases that can be behind your neuropathic pain.
Falls, car accidents, sports injuries, or even a medical procedure can leave you with nerve damage.
The long list of possible causes of nerve damage includes:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Some chemotherapy drugs
- Radiation therapy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
What Neuropathic Pain Feels Like
People with nerve pain will experience it in different ways.
Some people may feel a sharp, stabbing pain in the middle of the night.
Symptoms for others can include chronic prickling, tingling, or a burning sensation they feel all day.
Nerve pain can be hard to handle, but it can often be adequately controlled if it’s treated.
Regardless of the cause, nerve pain will typically feel like any of the following:
- Loss of Sensation
Like many other types of pain, nerve pain can vary in intensity.
Some people will experience it as a minor annoyance, while others will experience severe and unbearable pain.
Nerve pain may also be localized and felt at or near the site of the damage, or it can be referred pain that is felt somewhere else in your body.
No matter how your pain is experienced, your quality of life will suffer if it isn’t treated.
Knowing how to describe your peripheral neuropathy to your doctor can help them diagnose it quickly so they can begin providing you with much-needed pain relief.
Always take note of what your pain feels like when you experience it.
Many people keep a pain journal so they have something they can easily share with their doctor.
Other Symptoms Associated With Nerve Pain
Similar to other types of pain, neuropathic pain often cause other symptoms in the body in addition to pain.
If you experience any of the following symptoms in addition to the pain described above, there’s a chance you have nerve damage.
- Partial or complete loss of feeling
- Muscle weakness
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Changes in skin appearance and texture
- Muscle disuse atrophy
Find Relief From Neuropathic Pain
The first thing you should do when you think you may be experiencing neuropathic pain is to see a doctor.
And the first thing your doctor will want to do is make sure you don’t have a health condition causing neuropathy, like diabetes.
If so, they will want to be sure it’s under control.
Then they’ll try to find you relief from your peripheral neuropathy.
Sometimes antidepressant drugs or anti-seizure drugs actually work better than some traditional pain medications in patients with neuropathic pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, can be used to treat neuropathic pain.
Opioid drugs can also be used, but they may not provide effective relief, and opioids carry a risk of addiction, so they aren’t recommended.
Lidocaine patches and capsaicin creams may also be used, as well as nerve blocks like steroid injections.
You may also benefit from non-drug treatments like counseling, physical therapy, or acupuncture, either alone or in combination with medicine.
In addition, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, a treatment that involves sending a gentle electrical current through electrodes attached to the skin, works for some patients.
See A Doctor For Your Your Neuropathic Pain
If you notice any of the sensations we spoke about above, like tingling, weakness, or pain in your hands or feet, you should seek medical attention right away.
If you do have neuropathic pain, early diagnosis and treatment give you the best chance to control your symptoms and prevent further damage from occurring to your peripheral nerves.
Ethos Health Group has developed a proven treatment process to determine how much nerve damage you may have and if their doctors can treat your condition.
We will perform a series of non-invasive tests that will show the extent of your condition and what your treatment options are.
The treatment programs available at Ethos Health Group consist of cutting-edge, non-invasive therapies designed to stimulate new blood vessel growth and reverse nerve damage in the feet or hands.
If you’d like to find relief from your peripheral neuropathy, contact Ethos Health Group as soon as possible.
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