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Neuropathic Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment

20 February, 2021 Ananya Das

Symptoms | Causes | Types | Treatment

If you were a patient of any disease or had any health condition which has damaged your somatosensory nervous system then you may experience a kind of chronic or acute pain in any part of the body that can flare up any time without showing the presence of pain-inducing factors. This kind of pain is called neuropathic pain. It is usually caused by a progressive nerve disease or may be the result of any infection or injury.

Unlike non-neuropathic pain, neuropathic pain is not triggered by any external action on the body but the body itself sends pain signals to the brain. This pain may be constant or may occur in an episodic manner. The victims of neuropathic pain experience intense pains accompanied by loss of sensation and if not treated well early then it may get worse over time.

Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain:

Signs of neuropathic pain are not easily identified but a few objective signs can be traced. The patient of neuropathy is asked to describe the kind of pain he is feeling. The answer may range among sharp/dull, hot/cold, itchy, stinging or burning. After knowing the kind of pain, the patient is asked to rate the intensity from a visual scale or numeric graph.

Risk factors for Neuropathic Pain:

Any event or object that may cause damage to the nervous system leads to the development of neuropathic pain. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis

Nerve problems like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also trigger neuropathic pain.

Causes of Neuropathic Pain:

The nervous system runs from your brain to the spinal cord till the smallest nerve of the toe. Any kind of disorder to any part of this nervous system of the body can lead to the development of neuropathic pain. There are several reasons of why neuropathic pain develops. Some of them are infection, loss of limb, any injury or a disease. Apart from these, the causes may be deficiency of vitamin B, thyroid problems or arthritis in the spine. Major reasons of development include:

  • Hike in the release of pain signally neurotransmitters which combine with impaired ability of nerve to regulate these signals and causes pain that originates from affected area.
  • The region of spinal cord where painful signals are interpreted gets rearranged and affects the normal functioning of cell bodies which results in perception of pain even in the absence of external stimulations. With time if this persists then the pain blocking ability of the brain may be lost which will result in stokes or trauma alongside causing damage in the cellular network that results in sense of persistent pain.

 

Types of Neuropathic Pain:

Neuropathic pain is thought to be associated with peripheral nerve problem. There are many types of neuropathic pain depending upon the area of action of the pain and these are called neuropathic pain syndromes. Some of the most common syndromes are as follows:

1. Diabetic neuropathy: If you are a diabetic patient, you may feel this pain due to the high glucose level in your blood. It injures or causes damage to the nerves of your body especially your legs and feet. This may cause numbness in your legs and causes problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, heart and blood vessels.

2. Spinal cord injury neuropathy: This kind of pain results if you have any injury in your spinal nerve and is found to be associated with neck and low back problems. This pain usually starts from arms or legs as the nerve root is compressed at the spinal column.

How to Prevent Neuropathic Pain?

The most simple and best way by which the development of neuropathic pain can be prevented is by avoiding the development of neuropathy. The various ways of prevention are by:

  • Quitting the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
  • Maintaining healthy weight as this may reduce the risk of development of diabetes and degenerative joint disease.
  • Perform yoga and exercises to reduce the development of stress frequently.
  • Manage diabetic neuropathic pain by maintaining proper blood sugar and managing a healthy lifestyle.


Diagnosis of Neuropathic Pain:

The first step towards the diagnosis of neuropathy is by examining the symptoms described by the patients. Now depending on that if nerve damage is suspected then for confirmation, electrodiagnostic medicine is given which uses techniques of nerve conduction studies with electromyelography. These studies are performed by neurologists.

Treatment for Neuropathic Pain:

The treatment method to be used for treating the neuropathic pain highly depends upon the cause of the pain. The following are the most common ways and methods that can be used.

1. Antidepressants: These drugs are taken to treat the symptoms of neuropathic pain and the anxiety related to it. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants for the purpose are tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

2. Over-the-counter pain medication: These drugs are usually found to be less effective as they don’t target the source of the pain. These include non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aleve and Motrin.

3. Plant device: This is an invasive process where via surgery a device is placed in the body and is used in the brain and the spine. It sends electrical impulses that may stop the irregular nerve signals.

4. Nerve blockers: These drugs are injected into the nerves that produce pain signals but these blocks are temporary therefore requires repeated intake. Some of these medicines are steroids and local anesthetics.

Maxgalin NT Tablet | Juviana Plus | Lyrica 75mg Capsule

All the above mentioned medicines and other drugs that are prescribed for the purpose of its treatment are easily available online and can be bought easily from online pharmacies.

Conclusion:
The severity of neuropathic pain is generally intense and may cause much discomfort. Therefore it’s very necessary to be careful if you are suffering from any kind of injury, chronic pain or stress. Be sure to consult your doctor as symptoms may result in the development of neuropathy. Hence, take proper precautions to lead a balanced and healthy life.

 

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