Neuropathic Pain Treatment & Diagnostics in Tardeo, Mumbai
Neuropathic pain is usually associated with abnormal sensations like burning or tingling. Often long-standing, neuropathic pain affects about 1 in every 10 adults with chronic pain. Although rare, neuropathic pain can also have an acute presentation.
What is neuropathic pain?
The receptors on your body detect any changes in the sensation stimulus. The nerves are responsible for carrying these impulses to the spinal cord and different segments of the brain.
Neuropathic pain occurs when the nervous system is injured or damaged. The damaged structure sends out wrong signals, which are carried to the brain and perceived as pain. Neuropathy is any disturbance in the normal functioning of the nerves.
What causes neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain can result from several conditions. The common causes include:
- Infections like herpes, HIV
- Vitamin B deficiencies
- Trauma to the nerves
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Spinal compression or inflammation
- Central nervous system conditions like stroke, multiple sclerosis
- Cancer and chemotherapy, radiation therapy
- Amputation resulting in phantom pain
What are the symptoms of neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain often results in altered sensations. The common symptoms involve:
- Sensations like pins and needles or electric shock-like pain - shooting, burning or stabbing pain
- Pain due to stimuli like cold, pressure or even brushing of the skin, occurring without a trigger
- Increased sensitivity to sensations
- Difficulty in falling asleep or resting
- Emotional status affecting the pain perception
When do you need to see a doctor?
If you have any or all of the above symptoms, consult a doctor at the earliest.
You can request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Tardeo, Mumbai.
Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.
How is neuropathic pain treated?
The first step towards managing neuropathic pain is identifying the underlying cause. With the correct diagnosis of the underlying disease or condition, your doctor will be able to treat the pain (if possible). Your doctor will prescribe medications and lifestyle changes to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.
The treatment options for neuropathic pain include:
- Over-the-counter painkillers
In case of neuropathic pain following inflammation in the nerves, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can provide relief. Also, a topical pain reliever such as lidocaine and capsaicin patches can help manage your pain symptoms. However, since these medications only target the symptoms rather than the actual cause, many people find them ineffective.
- Opioid painkillers
Opioid pain medications can provide some relief. However, due to their addictive nature, many doctors hesitate to prescribe these medications unless necessary.
- Nerve blocks
If the oral and topical pain management drugs fail, your doctor may prescribe steroid injections, local anesthetics or other pain modulators for blocking the nerve signals. These nerve blocks can temporarily prevent the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
Anticonvulsant medications can treat neuropathic pain. Some neuropathic pain responds to gabapentinoids. Although the exact mechanism of action of these medications remains unclear, medical experts believe they interfere with pain transmission and reduce the abnormal stimuli from reaching the brain.
- Antidepressant drugs
Antidepressant medications can show promise in treating both the pain symptoms of neuropathy and the depressive symptoms resulting from the long-standing disability it causes.
- Implantable device
A surgeon can implant a device into your brain or the spinal cord through an invasive procedure. The device blocks the electrical impulses to the brain, spinal cord or nerves. The device controls the abnormal signals and is suitable for people who remain unresponsive to all the other forms of treatment.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy can also help you to deal with your pain. Many physiotherapeutic modalities can help modulate your pain and improve your muscle functions. Also, exercises can help in reducing some compression on your spine and disc. Muscle strength and endurance training can also improve the stability of your spine. So if the spinal and discal pressure contributes to the symptoms, you can benefit from this form of treatment.
- Lifestyle modifications
Apart from medications, lifestyle modifications can help in managing your symptoms. Regular exercise, relaxation and mindfulness practice can help you cope with your pain better. Also, controlling your diet and restricting your alcohol consumption can prevent your condition from worsening if diabetes or alcohol is the cause of your neuropathy.
Neuropathic pain requires a multi-modal approach to manage your condition.
Neuropathic pain, being a chronic condition, can be debilitating - affecting your quality of life and resulting in other severe conditions such as anxiety and depression. Accurate diagnosis of the cause of the pain and prompt treatment can help in managing your symptoms.
Neuropathic pain can at times go away on its own, but often it is chronic and recurrent. Unless you address the actual cause of the pain, the symptoms often persist for months and years.
Identifying the cause and treating it can help relieve your painful symptoms. If diabetes is the cause, reducing your sugar levels can help in relieving your pain.
You can try sleeping with a pillow underneath your knees. Also, sleep on your side (with a pillow between your knees) to relieve some pressure on your nerves.