Neuropathic pain stems from the dysfunction or damage of the part of the nervous system that detects somatosensory signals. These are signals of sensations such as warmth, pain, and pressure.
Determining the source of neuropathy isn’t an easy task, as many different diseases and health conditions can be connected to this kind of pain. Neuropathic pain is usually the result of damage or injury to the peripheral nervous system, causing numbness, tingling, shooting pains, atrophy, or weakness in one or more limbs. These nerves transfer sensory information to the brain and spinal cord from the skin, muscles, and other parts of the body.
The causes of neuropathy vary from trauma, surgery, disease, or even treatment such as chemotherapy. A multimodal treatment is needed, as medication alone may be insufficient.
What Are the Causes of Neuropathic Pain?
Some of the causes and risk factors of neuropathic pain include the following:
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Postherpetic neuralgia
- Orofacial pain
- Phantom pain (felt after limb amputation)
- Nerve compression or tumor infiltration
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Radiation therapy
- HIV infection
- Spinal nerve compression or infection
- Trauma or surgery following nerve damage
In addition to having a particular health condition, other general risk factors include the lack of physical activity, older age, and having an occupation involving hard labor. Evidence linking neuropathy to genetic factors has also been emerging.
Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain
Patients experiencing this type of pain have described the feeling of a burning sensation and immense sensitivity to touch on the affected area. Other symptoms include the following:
- Feelings of heat
- Feelings of coldness
- Electric shock-like pain
- Sleeping difficulties
- Spontaneous pain
- Pins-and-needles feeling
- Emotional struggles due to troubled sleep and pain
- Dysesthesia (repulsive abnormal sensation caused by touch)
- Hypoalgesia (reduced sensitivity to touch)
- Allodynia (pain from a gentle touch)
- Hyperalgesia (hypersensitivity to touch)
How Can Neuropathic Pain Be Treated?
The goals of treatment for neuropathic pain involve alleviation of pain, ability to regain normal function or mobility, and treating the underlying condition. Treatment usually involves a combination approach, including one or more of the following:
- Psychological treatment
- Physical therapy
Due to the complexity of neuropathic pain, doctors may have to examine medications, rotate them during your course of treatment, or combine multiple prescriptions for optimum benefit and relief.
Treatment for Nerve Damage in Central Maryland
Neuropathy can lead to devastating repercussions on a person’s life if left untreated. Therefore, it is essential to find supportive and knowledgeable healthcare providers to assist you in overcoming the symptoms.
Our expert staff at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland Spine Care comprise board-certified doctors who practice pain-relief treatments for our patients. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions, call us today at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or schedule an appointment now by filling out our online form. We look forward to helping you finally achieve pain relief.