Understanding Neuropathic Pain: Common Causes And Symptoms
According to World Health Organisation statistics, about 22% of the world’s primary care patients have chronic debilitating pain. Neuropathic pain sufferers make up at least half of this group.
According to The International Association for the Study of Pain, neuropathic pain is defined as "pain originating as a direct result of a lesion or illnesses affecting the somatosensory system". It is characterised by shooting, electrical, or scorching pain that can occur anywhere in the neurological system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.
Neuropathic pain may go away once the nerve damage heals. However, more often than not, the pain is persistent and can also be unrelenting and severe at times. Hence, consulting a specialist for nerve pain treatment in Singapore is often advised.
If you suspect that you are one of those people who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain, this article is for you. Here, we explore the most common causes of this condition, its symptoms, and means of diagnosis.
Most common causes of neuropathic pain
There is a wide variety of possible causes behind neuropathic pain. Oftentimes, this condition is a symptom or complication of a disease or infection, such as the following:
· HIV infection or AIDS
· Central nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
· Multiple myeloma
· Facial nerve problems
· Complex regional pain syndrome
· Thyroid problems
Aside from diseases and infections, injuries to your muscles, joints, or tissues can also be a source of neuropathic pain. Particularly, injuries that affect your spine can cause you to experience this type of pain even though your injury seems to have already recovered, as damage to the nervous system usually takes a long time to heal.
Conditions such as spinal cord compression and herniated discs, for example, can injure the nerve fibres around your spine and consequently result in persistent neuropathic pain. In some instances, medications and treatments, such as amputation, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy drugs, can also lead to this condition.
Symptoms of neuropathic pain
Numerous symptoms may be present in a single case of neuropathic pain. These symptoms may vary slightly from person to person. However, the most common symptoms people with this condition notice are as follows:
· Burning, shooting, or stabbing pain
· Numbness and tingling
· Spontaneous pain or pain that happens without a trigger
· Evoked pain or pain that is caused by stimuli that are normally not painful, such as cold, pressure, and brushing against the skin
· A persistent sensation of abnormality or feeling unpleasant
· Trouble sleeping or resting
· Emotional problems because of persistent pain, loss of sleep, and difficulty expressing how you feel
How neuropathic pain is diagnosed
Diagnosing neuropathic pain and determining its possible cause is necessary to help you manage the pain better. To diagnose neuropathic pain, the doctor will most likely conduct an interview about your medical history and let you undergo a physical examination.
Your doctor may ask questions about how your pain feels like, when it occurs, and whether there is anything specific that triggers the pain. They may also ask about your risk factors for neuropathic pain. If they suspect that you have a nerve injury, they will try to identify some typical symptoms of the condition. Sometimes, the doctor may also request for you to have both blood and nerve tests.
Neuropathic pain is usually not life-threatening, but it can be difficult to treat completely. It can become debilitating and affect your way of life negatively. Hence, early diagnosis is important to make sure your condition is adequately dealt with at its onset. By knowing the possible causes of your neuropathic pain and seeking the help of a pain specialist, you will be able to manage your pain better.
At Affinity Pain Clinic, our expert and seasoned pain specialists can provide you with extensive pain treatments for a wide range of conditions. From sport injury treatment and muscle tear treatment to nerve pain treatment and tennis elbow treatment in Singapore, we offer all the treatments you need to achieve an improved quality of life.
For further enquiries or to schedule an appointment, feel free to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org today.