Neuropathic pain can occur in just about any part of your body at any time. It's usually a response to injury, infection, or a chronic condition like arthritis or a slipped disc in your back.
Neuropathic pain is so common that at least one government study indicates that between 8.8% and 12.4% of the adult population in this country suffers from some form of it. That makes it increasingly important for people to understand what they can do to minimize their discomfort and treat their pain.
What Does Neuropathic Pain Feel Like?
You have to identify your pain in order to treat it effectively. Since neuropathic pain sometimes seems to come "out of nowhere," not everyone recognizes what they're feeling. This type of pain is usually described as:
Some people also experience numbness or a disturbing "pins and needles" feeling in their extremities.
It's essential to note that people don't always register the pain from their nerves near the site of the damage. An injury in your neck or shoulder, for example, can pinch nerves that travel all the way down to your hand. It would be a mistake to focus your treatment on the hand, however, since the real issue is much higher.
What Can Be Done to Treat Neuropathic Pain?
The first thing that you should do is seek an evaluation by a nerve pain management physician. That specialist can help identify the true source of your pain and look for any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the problem, such as:
- Slipped discs in your neck or spine
- Cancer or autoimmune disorders
- Infections and exposure to neurotoxins
- Vitamin or dietary deficiencies
- Diabetes or hormonal disorders
Once the source of your pain has been identified, the doctor can recommend a course of treatment. It may not be possible to eliminate the cause of your pain, but the right treatment may be able to keep the pain from limiting your life and prevent your condition from getting worse.
Is Pain Medication Still the Way to Go?
Over the years, doctors have made huge advancements in treating neuropathic conditions, and heavy-duty painkillers are no longer the only line of defense for victims. Techniques like biofeedback, nerve blocks, topical numbing creams, meditation, and more are being widely used to combat the troubling array of symptoms that patients experience from damaged nerves.
If you're suffering from nerve pain, don't let it take over your life. Seek treatment, and find out just how much better things can get