There are four ingredients in true leadership: brains, soul, heart and good nerves. – Klaus Schwab

What is neuropathic pain?

Neuropathic pain is a condition that occurs after damage or dysfunction of the nervous system. Normally, pain is due to an injury or illness. However, with neuropathic pain, no event or injury causes the pain. Instead, the body just sends pain signals to your brain unprompted. Pain centres receive the wrong signals from the damaged nerve fibres.

Possible Causes: 

Neuropathic pain is the result of nerve damage or a malfunction of the nervous system. While there is no obvious cause of neuropathic pain, the following are some possible causes:

  • Diseases like diabetes, multiple myeloma, HIV infection or AIDS, syphilis.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Nerve related problems such as spine surgery, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord compression from herniated discs, arthritis in the spine or shingles.
  • Alcoholism, amputation and chemotherapy are a few other causes of neuropathic pain.

Risk Factors: 

People who are at a higher risk of getting neuropathic pain are:

  • Those with injuries to the spinal cord, have multiple sclerosis, or have suffered a stroke.
  • Metabolic diseases like diabetes can cause neuropathic pain.
  • Diseases like cancer and side-effects of chemotherapy.
  • Immune disorders or nutritional deficiencies.
  • Amputees who suffer ‘phantom limb’ after surgery.
  • Alcoholics may feel tingling and pain in their limbs as alcohol can affect the nerves. 

Signs & Symptoms: 

Neuropathic pain symptoms are characterised by:

  • Shooting and burning pain.
  • Tingling and numbness.
  • Slight touch triggers the pain.
  • Anxiety, stress, depression and disturbed sleep are a few signs that are a direct result of the pain.

Diagnosis: 

For neuropathic pain diagnosis, the experts at Medcare would require details of other diseases and medical history as it is important to get to the root cause of the pain.

  • It begins with a physical examination and questions about yourself.
  • Description of the pain, the factors that trigger the pain and the time when the pain occurs is important.
  • A blood test and a nerve test will follow.

Treatment Options: 

For the best neuropathic pain treatment, consult a specialist at the Neurology Department of Medcare. Essentially, our neurologist will treat the underlying cause of the pain. So, management of disorders that are causing the pain will have to be treated first and it is our endeavour to ensure that no further nerve damage takes place. In this condition the patient requires holistic treatment that includes both medication and therapy:

  • Anticonvulsant and antidepressant drugs are given to ease the pain. 
  • If medication does not relieve the pain, then electrically stimulating the affected nerves may help. The treatment is called percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS).
  • Depending on the type of neuropathic symptoms – either postherpetic or trigeminal our experts will recommend a line of treatment.
  • Some other treatments like physical therapy, relaxation, massage, acupuncture and counselling may contribute in a big way.
FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • What is neuropathic pain?

    A: Neuropathic pain is a severe, burning pain due to a damaged nerve.

  • Is there a cure for neuropathic pain?

    A: There is no cure for this pain but symptoms can be alleviated through pain-killers, anti-depressant and anti-convulsant medication, and electrically stimulating the nerves.

  • How does percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) therapy help to deal with neuropathic pain?

    A: A PENS machine delivers low voltage electrical current to the peripheral nerves through probes that are placed just under the skin. While this does not destroy the nerves, it does makes them less sensitive to pain. PENS therapy works by altering the state of the nerves, which gives some relief from pain.

  • Can physiotherapy help to control neuropathic pain?

    A: Yes, you should definitely consult a qualified physiotherapist at Medcare and discuss how your neuropathic pain can be better controlled. Physiotherapy can help to improve muscle strength and has been found to reduce neuropathic pain. 

    If the root cause of the pain is diabetes, then physiotherapy can help to control blood sugar levels. With a combination of aerobic, flexibility, strength training and balance exercises, you will be able to manage your neuropathic pain better.

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