Neuropathic pain is a complex, chronic pain state that is typically accompanied by tissue injury. With neuropathic pain, the nerve fibers might be damaged, or injured. These injured nerve fibers send incorrect signals to other pain centers. The impact of nerve fiber includes a change in nerve function both at the site of injury and areas around the injury.
Neuropathic pain is also otherwise known as nerve pain. It is a type of chronic pain that occurs when nerves in the central nervous system are damaged. Causes of neuropathic pain are often unknown but some causes of neuropathic pain include:
The most common symptoms of Neuropathic Pain are:
To diagnose neuropathic pain, a doctor will usually schedule an interview and exam. The physician may ask you questions about how you would describe your pain, when the pain occurs, or if something is triggering the pain. Your physician may also require blood and nerve tests.
Some studies suggest the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve or Ibuprofen to mitigate the pain. In some cases, a patient may require a stronger painkiller, such as those containing morphine.
If another condition is involved, like Diabetes, better management of your condition may provide some relief from pain. In cases that are difficult to treat, a pain management specialist may use an invasive or implantable device to effectively reduce the pain.
Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy is a safe and new option for patients with neuropathic pain. It reduces pain by blocking pain message signals to the brain. It also prompts the body to produce endorphins, which helps to ease pain.
Many patients with neuropathic pain are able to find some measure of relief, even if their pain persists. Although, neuropathic pain is not dangerous to a patient, the presence of chronic pain can negatively impact your quality of life.
If you feel you are having symptoms of neuropathic pain, please speak to a physician.
Dr. Dumitru is a board certified and fellowship trained pain management specialist. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment please call (713)461-8555.