NEUROPATHIC PAIN is a common pain condition. It happens when the nerve fibres are damaged or become dysfunctional. Nerve fibres can be damaged by trauma, hormonal conditions like diabetes, viral infections like AIDS or Herpes infection in face or chest, side effects of Alcohol or some medications and treatments, amputation or degenerative changes.This list is not comprehensive and any other reason that can cause injury or dysfunction to nerves, may cause NEUROPATHIC PAIN.
Symptoms of Neuropathic pain is a pain with unusual characteristics. Tingling and numbness, shooting and burning pain are prominent characteristics of this condition. Diagnosis of Neuropathic pain is by a careful history taking and paying attention to the characteristics explained above along with a physical examination by a physician trained in evaluation of Neuropathic pain. Treatment of this condition is directed towards causes and symptoms. For example in Diabetes, a better control of blood sugar level may lead into better management of pain. Medications used are from anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-epileptic or if needed opioid classes. At times procedures like blocking the irritated nerve by local anaesthetics may be needed.
NEUROPATHIC PAIN may be difficult to manage. Patients should take an active role in self management as well as being a team member with the health care professionals team to manage this condition. Proper NUTRITION, EXERCISE, MEDITATION and staying as FUNCTIONAL as possible can make a huge difference in over-all quality of life for a Neuropathic Pain patient.
Dr. Kevin ROD