Neuropathic Pain – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis

Neuropathic Pain is caused by injury in tissues. It is a persistent pain and is complex in nature. The nerve fibers can be damaged and can become dysfunctional with neuropathic pain. The damaged nerve fibers send wrong signals to other centers of pain. It involves a change in functions of nerve at the areas around the injury and at the location of injury.

One example of this pain is phantom limb syndrome. This occurs when a body part like leg or arm has been removed due to illness or accident but the brain gets pain messages from the nerves that transfers impulses from the missing or removed limb. This pain affects the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system and it occurs to around 2 million people in USA alone and is becoming common these days.

Causes of Neuropathic Pain

  • Chemotherapy
  • Intake of Alcohol
  • Amputation
  • Disease like Diabetes
  • Face related nerve problems
  • AIDS or HIV problems
  • Hip ,leg or back problems
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Shingles
  • Spine surgery

Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain

  • Burning and shooting pain
  • Numbness and tingling in body parts

Diagnosis of Neuropathic Pain

A physical exam and an interview will be conducted by the doctor and the doctor may ask questions related to the pain history like when the pain occurs, how long it occurs, what are the conditions in which it particularly happens whether it occurs in day or in night or both.

Intake of drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aleve or motrin can give relieve from pain. Anti-depressant drugs and strong pain killers like morphine may work in certain cases.

Electrically stimulating the nerves which include neuropathic pain might control signs of pain. Conditions like diabetes require proper management of the disorder. Pain which are uncontrollable requires invasive or use of implantable device therapies. it responds poorly in case of normal treatments and can get worse instead of subtle over time. It can result in serious disability also.