(Pain, Neuropathic; Nerve Pain; Pain, Nerve)
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- Physical damage
- The nerve not getting the vital nutrients needed to function
- The body’s immune system attacking the nerves
- Diabetes— diabetic neuropathy
- Poor glucose tolerance, also known as pre-diabetes
- Shingles— post-herpetic neuralgia
- HIV infection —HIV sensory neuropathy
- Amputation — phantom limb pain
- Vitamin deficiency
- Spinal cord disorder or injury
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Conditions that are present at birth
- Back surgery
- Exposure to toxins or metals
- Certain medications
- Electrical shock
- Pins and needles/tingling
- Opioid pain relievers
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen
- Topical creams applied to the skin or patches, such as capsaicin cream or a patch with lidocaine
- Ask your doctor to recommend a safe exercise program. Being active will help your overall health.
- Work with a therapist to help cope with chronic pain. Joining a support group may also be helpful.
- Talk to your family and friends about your condition. They can offer help and understanding.
- Learn relaxation techniques , like meditation, to reduce stress.
- If you have an underlying condition, like diabetes, be sure to get proper treatment for it.
- An injection of a nerve block—An anesthetic is injected into the painful area to block pain signals.
- Pain pump installation—A pain pump can be implanted into your body to deliver pain medication.
- Nerve stimulators—This device is attached to the nerve and delivers electrical signals to control pain.
- Surgery can be done to block the damaged nerves from sending signals.
American Chronic Pain Association http://www.theacpa.org
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca
Canadian Pain Coalition http://www.canadianpaincoalition.ca
Botez SA, Herrmann DN. Sensory neuropathies, from symptoms to treatment. Curr Opin Neurol . 2010;23(5):502-508.
Rezania K, et al. Impaired glucose tolerance and metabolic syndrome in idiopathic polyneuropathy: the role of pain and depression. Med Hypotheses . 2011;76:538-42.
Types of neuropathic pain. The Neuropathy Association website. Available at: http://www.neuropathy.org/site/News2?news%5Fiv%5Fctrl=-1&page=NewsArticle&id=7775 . Accessed July 30, 2013.
Understanding nerve pain. American Chronic Pain Association website. Available at: http://www.theacpa.org/uploads/Final%5FBrochure.pdf . Published 2004. Accessed July 30, 2013.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2013
- Update Date: 05/11/2013