KNOWvember is a month-long event held throughout the month of November that explores a different area of pain management through events, social media content, and other means. This event is hosted annually by the United States Pain Foundation (USPF).
The topic of this year’s KNOWvember, which focuses on pain associated with the nervous system and touch, is “neuropathic pain.”
The following is essential information regarding this common type of pain and the treatments available for it.
What is the definition of neuropathic pain?
The limbs, the lower back, and the neck are the locations that are most frequently affect by neuropathy-related pain.
The pain may be constant or intermittent, feel like shooting or burning, be accompanied by numbness or loss of sensation, or be a combination of these sensations.
Unfortunately, neuropathic pain is prevalent throughout the country. According to the findings of several studies and the most reliable estimates, the percentage of the population who suffers from neuropathic pain may range from 6.9 to 10%. In the United States, neuropathic pain is the most common type of pain, affecting more than 20% of the population and ranking among the top causes of pain overall.
This type of pain is caused by damage to various levels of the nervous system, including the spinal cord, brain, and nerves in the body’s peripheral areas. Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that develops when nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord become damaged.
Women, people over the age of 50, those with a lower level of formal education, manual workers or farmers, those unable to work, rural residents, and those who are economically disadvantaged are more likely to suffer from chronic neuropathic pain.
The factors that contribute to neuropathic pain
There are four primary factors that contribute to neuropathic pain, which are as follows:
1. An illness
There are several conditions that can cause neuropathic pain, but diabetes accounts for 30% of all cases. In fact, diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects nearly half of all diabetic adults at some point in their lives.
Other illnesses include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s syndrome, connective tissue disorders, and problems with the facial nerves like trigeminal neuralgia (which causes severe neuropathic pain to the face).
After a tissue, muscle, or joint injury heals or back, hip, or leg problems improve, the nervous system may still be damaged. Herniated discs and spinal cord compression can cause nerve damage and neuropathic pain. Another common cause of chronic neuropathic pain is iatrogenic injuries, which occur when surgeons cut nerves accidentally or intentionally. Iatrogenic injuries can be classified as either accidental or intentional. Trauma can also lead to the development of neuromas, which can produce the same kind of neuropathic pain.
HIV or AIDS isn’t the only thing that can cause neuropathic pain in some people. Shingles, Lyme disease, syphilis, the Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C, leprosy, and diphtheria can all do the same thing.
4. Limb loss
After having an arm or leg amputated, a patient may develop a condition known as “phantom limb syndrome.” Amputation nerves send false signals to the brain, making the amputated limb feel uncomfortable. This can also be experience in other parts of the body, such as the fingers, toes, or ears.
What kinds of treatments are available for people who suffer from neuropathic pain?
The effectiveness of the various treatments for neuropathic pain is largely determined by the aetiology of the condition. Always rely on the knowledge and experience of your healthcare provider when making decisions about potential treatments.
The following are some examples of treatment that are commonly use:
Massage therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, heat and cold therapy, chiropractic care, and relaxation methods (like meditation) can all be helpful.
Pain and the symptoms of depression that can be caused by chronic pain can both be treated with Pregabalin 100mg or Pregalin 50 mg medication
Anticonvulsants are able to treat not only seizures, but also the symptoms that come along with pain.
Nerve blocks, which may involve steroid injections and local anaesthetics, and neuromodulation, which uses external and implantable devices to send electrical impulses to the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, are two treatments.
Along with topical pain relievers, opioids have been show to be effective, but doctor don’t always prescribe them.
Surgical procedures, such as the removal of the tumour, nerve repair, decompression, or graft, and stimulation of the motor cortex.
In addition to neurologists, neurosurgeons, and pain specialists, microtrained orthopaedic and plastic hand surgeons who can treat nerve injuries can also address neuropathic pain, a fact that many people are unaware of when searching for providers who can help manage this type of pain. These surgeons can treat nerve injuries because of their specialised training.
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