Chronic pain is primarily one of the prevalent conditions affecting approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. A substantial number of these patients experience chronic neuropathic pain. Also, another research shows that neuropathic pain affects more women than men, with a pain frequency rate of 8% and 5.7%, respectively, in persons above 50 years. Even with this high rate of occurrence, many do not understand what it is and the treatment procedures. It has been referred to as a “hidden epidemic” due to its unpredictable nature.
Fortunately, intense neuropathic pain does not always indicate a life-threatening condition. Some people with neuropathy might have relatively minor and manageable symptoms with conservative treatment like medication or physical therapy. Here is all you need to know about different types of neuropathic pain and their treatment.
What is Neuropathic Pain?
Neuropathic pain is caused by peripheral or spinal nerve damage that transfers information between the brain and spinal cord from the skin, muscles, and other body parts. The pain is usually described as shooting, burning, tingling, numbness, and pins and needles.
Despite having complex symptoms, lesions or diseases of the somatosensory system are major causes of neuropathic pain. It is often resistant and can be very intense. Other causes include:
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Viral infections
- Trauma or surgeries which damage the nerves
- Vascular malformations
Types of Neuropathic Pain
The different types of neuropathic pain vary with body parts and nerves affected. When one nerve is affected, it is called mononeuropathy, while damage on more than one nerve is called polyneuropathy. The different types of neuropathic pain and the body parts they affect include;
Peripheral neuropathy is a nervous disorder affecting your hands, feet, toes, arms, and legs. Often, people with peripheral neuropathy experience weakness in their muscles and reduced sensitivity in their skin.
PN differs from other nerve damage forms because it simultaneously affects multiple peripheral nerves. Even if one body part can send signals to the brain, another factor may be unfunctional.
Autonomic neuropathy is a condition that damages the autonomic nervous system. Often the damage is episodic and intermittent. This causes an inconsistent negative effect on the spinal cord signals. Problems with this system will lead to dry eyes, uncontrolled reflexes, and bladder function difficulty.
Focal neuropathy is a neurological disorder affecting one or more body parts. It is mainly caused by trauma or infection and affects muscles in an area close to the damaged nerve.
When you suffer from focal neuropathy, it is common for you to experience numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and even pain near the affected site. If you experience these symptoms and are unsure what they mean, visit an ophthalmologist or neurologist to find out more.
Proximal neuropathy is a condition in which people cannot feel their extremities. This nerve damage causes people to experience numbness, tingling, or feelings of pins and needles beginning in the fingers or hand. In addition to difficulties with walking, performing daily living and self-care activities may be hindered by this disorder.
Diabetic neuropathy is a diabetic condition resulting in nerve damage. This nerve damage can happen in any part of your body, but the most affected parts are the feet. The symptoms can start as mild and unnoticed but will progress in severity over time. People with DN usually have issues with mobility.
How is Neuropathic Pain Treated?
Most types of neuropathic pain will ease with time. However, physicians can suggest transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy for chronic neuropathic conditions.
Other treatment options include pain relief medication, and, in some cases, surgery is necessary. Additionally, here is an outline of the most common treatments;
Working with a neuropathic pain specialist offers a permanent treatment plan that does not involve surgery or medication.
Take Action Now and Start Living Again
Don’t let chronic neuropathic pain define or affect your quality of life. Maybe until now, your options have been surgery or the use of medications. Luckily, Progressive Pain Management offers treatments for neurological and chronic pain conditions. A physician evaluates your condition, conducts lab tests, and creates a treatment plan per your unique condition. Contact us to learn more about neuropathic pain and treatment offerings. We will help provide an effective treatment option for you. Fill out the form below to get started.
Neuropathic pain is a severe burning or shooting pain. This is a condition that is more often chronic. Neuropathic pain is typically caused by severe, progressive nerve disease. This causes damage to various levels of the nervous system; the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Also, it can be as a result of infection or damage. It mainly affects the lower back, limbs, and neck. Neuropathic pain can be constant, with the recurrent feeling of burning and shooting accompanied by loss of sensation or numbness.
Unfortunately, neuropathic pain is widespread in the US. Researches show that based on best estimates, the prevalence of neuropathic pain among Americans may be between 6.9-10 percent. With chronic pain affecting over 20% of people in the US, neuropathic pain is the leading cause of pain. Populations most likely to experience this kind of pain include manual workers, women, people unable to work, people who are 50 years and above, and rural residents.
Causes Of Neuropathic Pain
The main causes of this form of pain can be categorized into four; disease, infection, injury, and loss of limb.
Other diseases that cause neuropathic pain include:
- Thyroid problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Facial nerve issues like trigeminal neuralgia
- Connective tissue disorders
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Multiple myeloma
Even when muscle, tissue, or joint injury has healed or leg, back, or hip problems improve, sometimes damage to the nervous system might not go away. Trauma caused by spinal injuries like spinal cord compression and herniated disc can damage your nerves near the spine. Also, iatrogenic injuries when doctors cut nerves during a surgical operation can cause chronic neuropathic pain.
Lyme disease, shingles, HIV infection and AIDS, Syphilis, hepatitis B and C, Epstein-Barr virus, leprosy, and diphtheria can also cause neuropathic pain.
When your hand or arm is amputated, you can suffer neuropathic pain. This is because the nerves near the amputated part may send incorrect signals to the brain, making it feel like the removed limb is in pain.
Neuropathic Pain Treatments
Neuropathic pain treatment aims to know the underlying condition or disease causing the pain and treat it if possible.
The main aim of your pain specialist is to offer pain relief, assist you in maintaining your usual capabilities regardless of the pain, and enhance your life quality. Some of the common treatments include:
NSAIDs like Motrin and Aleve can sometimes be used to treat this kind of pain. Unfortunately, many people don’t find these medicines effective for neuropathic pain, since they do not target the primary source of the pain.
These kinds of drugs have shown positive results in treating neuropathic pain symptoms. Two common types of these drugs are prescribed to patients with the following conditions.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
These drugs may treat the pain and the symptoms of anxiety or depression caused by chronic pain.
This is an invasive procedure whereby a surgeon implants a device in your body. Doctors can implant the device in the spine or the brain. After the device is in place, it will send electrical impulses into the spinal cord, brain, or nerves. These impulses may control symptoms and end the irregular nerve signals.
Get Help With Neuropathic Pain Today
Now that you know what neuropathic pain is, its causes and how to treat it, it’s time to see a doctor. Ensure you visit a doctor for the correct diagnosis and a treatment plan. When you get proper treatment, you may find relief and live a high-quality life.
Contact the team at Progressive Pain for help or fill out the form below and start your treatment today.