What is Neuralgia/Neuropathy?
Neuralgia/Neuropathy is a group of conditions in which the nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged or destroyed. These conditions are most commonly a result of damage to the nerve axons. There are 3 classes of neuropathy:
- Mononeuropathy: Nerve damage to a single nerve
- Multiple Mononeuropathy: Nerve damage to two or more nerves (individually affected)
- Polyneuropathy: Occurs when many nerves throughout the body fail simultaneously.
Causes, Signs & Symptoms of Neuralgia/Neuropathy
Nearly 30 percent of Neuralgia/Neuropathy conditions have no identifiable cause. Diabetes makes up another 30 percent. The remaining 40 percent percent of cases have several likely causes such as poor nutrition, alcoholism, diseases such as HIV/AIDs, exposure to certain toxins, tumors, metabolic disorders, infection and traumatic injury.
People who suffer from a neuropathy condition commonly report sharp pain, tingling and/or numbing sensations. This sensation is often felt in the hands and feet. Often, the pain felt is nearly constant.
Neuropathy can affect the motor nerves and sensory nerves, resulting in a loss of muscle movement and the ability to experience sensations. Autonomic neuropathy can even involve internal organs, including the bladder, blood vessels and heart.
The source of the irritation can be caused by a number of different medical conditions. As such, neuralgia is often difficult to diagnose and treat. Common causes of neuralgia include tooth decay, gout, infections such as shingles or HIV, eye strain, diabetes, exposure to chemicals and traumatic injury.
Those with neuralgia endure discomfort that is not caused by the normal excitation of pain receptors. Sufferers often experience increased pain and tenderness along the path of the affected nerve. A light touch or pressure around the area of the damaged nerve can be excruciating. In serious cases, sufferers may experience paralysis of certain muscles associated with the damaged nerve.
Treating Neuralgia/Neuropathy Pain
Before treating you, a physician should examine your full medical history to determine if the pain is due to an underlying medical condition. The doctors at Advanced Pain Care offer a wide range of pain management options from pain caused by either neuropathy or neuralgia.
Your nerve pain may be able to be reduced and diagnosed with a sympathetic nerve block injection or other nerve blocking agents. One of our doctors can discuss treatment options and whether or not nerve injections are right for you following a consultation.