Neuropathic pain is a complex and chronic pain condition characterized by damage to and dysfunction of the sensory nervous system. The onset of neuropathic pain occurs over time, and the pain is persistent, though the intensity of the pain varies. While neuropathic pain is not dangerous, it can negatively affect the quality of life in various ways, including depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Neuropathic pain can occur when trauma or disease causes injury to the nerves, or when dysfunction of the sensory nerves occurs and signals along the nerves misfire, resulting in pain. This injury and dysfunction can also result in pain being felt without reason, such as in the case of the amputation of a limb resulting in phantom limb pain. Other trauma or disease that causes neuropathic pain include alcoholism, stroke, chemotherapy, diabetes, spine surgery, shingles, MS, etc.
Identifying neuropathic pain is challenging, as there are few objective signs that point to it. Patients have described their symptoms as sharp or dull, hot or cold, stinging, burning, or itching. Many patients have a difficult time describing the amount of pain they experience, as symptoms can wax and wane throughout the day.
Various medications, including antidepressant and antiseizure medication, have been used to treat neuropathic pain. Other treatments include physical therapy, counseling, relaxation, massage, and acupuncture. Some neuropathic pain is curable, and once the underlying cause is treated, the peripheral nerves may regenerate, though this process could take months or longer.
Are you ready to get your neuropathic pain looked at? Contact Spine Pain Diagnostics Associates today.