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Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is nerve pains which occur in varying degrees and in different areas of the body caused by several factors. It is one of the most common discomforts of man and has been a favorite research topic of medical practitioners and scientists.

What is Neuropathic Pain?

Neuropathic pain is the painful consequence when the somatosensory system of the body suffers from a lesion.

Types of Neuropathic Pain

There are different types of it according to its characteristics.

Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

This kind of neuropathic pain is experienced due to a peripheral nerve lesion which leads to overly sensitive development of spontaneous pathological activity characterized by heightened sensitivity to chemical, mechanical and thermal stimuli as well as abnormal excitability. Those who suffer from this condition experiences autonomic changes, weakness and sensory changes however the location of the abnormal neuron responses varies on where the lesion occurred. They are extremely sensitive to touch that is marked by a prickly or tingling sensation that begins at the toes or ball of the fit leading to numbness and inability to feel temperature change.

Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain

This kind of neuropathic pain is also referred to as tic doulourex. It is experienced due to the disruption of the trigeminal nerve which is responsible for the transportation of sensations in the face and the outer surface of the eye. Neuropathic pain symptoms associated with includes pain on only one side of the face which may extend towards the nose and above the eyes. The pain is not permanent but may interrupt daily activities like daily brushing of the teeth, shaving, drinking or eating.

Diabetic Neuropathic Pain

This kind of condition affects almost every organ in the body from the hands up to the feet, heart and reproductive organs. Almost 60 to 70 percent of diabetic patients suffer from this condition primarily diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain syndrome of this category includes muscle weakness and lightheadedness but if left untreated then it may lead to more complications associated with blindness, loss of limbs and kidney failure.

Post Herpetic Neuropathic Pain

It is a painful condition associated with virus infection, shingles. The pain persist up to three months.

Chronic Neuropathic Pain

This condition is a worsened neuropathic pain syndrome that leads to inefficient functioning of an individual in society due to recurring pain experience in several areas of the body. There are many treatment and recommendations for this condition and it will be discussed in the latter portion of this article.

Causes of Neuropathic Pain

There are varying causes of neuropathic pain but it definitely happens when one or more of the nerves of the body is injured or damaged. A few possible causes of it are as follow

  1. Spinal Disorders
  2. Diabetes
  3. Fibromyalgia
  4. Shingles
  5. Bell’s Palsy
  6. Guillain-Bare Syndrome
  7. Parkinson’s disease
  8. Post amputation
  9. Phantom limb
  10. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome
  11. Vitamin B12 deficiency
  12. Thelamic Lesion

Neuropathic Pain Treatment

Treatment for neuropathic pain is quite a challenge. There are many factors which need to be considered before prescribing medication to a patient like the result of neuropathic pain scale. At times, the pain experienced by the patient is too much that it requires higher dosages of medication and at times surgical operations just to get rid of the pain.

Medications for Neuropathic Pain

Use of medication can be a simple treatment of neuropathic pain but it is one of the most effective neuropathic pain management techniques. The most common drugs associated with it are pregabalin neuropathic pain and gabapentin neuropathic pain tablets which are typically taken in the evening before bedtime. Both drugs are approved by FDA and are considered safe and effective neuropathic pain relief.

Other neuropathic pain medications include anticonvulsant drugs, anti-depressants, opioids, topical agents, cannabinoids, botulinum Toxin Type A, NMDA antagonism and a few dietary supplements.

Rehabilitation Therapy

A physical therapist or occupational therapist may assist you in helping get rid of the pain by providing you series of exercise and physical rehabilitation programs for the over-all conditioning of the nerves and muscles of the body.

Psychological Counseling

Psychological counseling who is specialized in the field of pain management may also assist you in this matter by teaching you techniques on how to proceed with psychological neuropathic pain management that can help alleviate the psychological symptoms associated with neuropathic pain like sleeplessness and depression.

Spinal Cord Stimulator and Pain Pumps

Recently, researchers designed a spinal cord stimulator and pain pumps that may help block the pain signals from the spinal cord towards the brain thus reducing the amount of pain experienced by the patient. This is an advanced way of managing the pain brought about by nerve disorders and could be requested from your physician.

In this process, electrical current are introduced to the dorsal portion of the spinal cord which in turn blocks the sensation of pain from being received by the brain. This is implanted in the spinal cord during surgical procedure and may require an external power source for it to be activated.

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