Neuropathic pain is the pain experienced by a person due to a damage or disease affecting the nervous system. Those who suffer from neuropathic pain describe a sensation of burning, vice, tugging, tingling, numbness, or tingling. They also note a loss of sensitivity where there is pain that, at its maximum, evokes an electric shock or a stab. Neuropathic pain can worsen by merely rubbing a garment or sheet and sometimes by a cold environment. These complicated pains, difficult to bear and to disable are not uncommon and is a concern for 7% of the adult population. For Neuropathy Pain Relief, understanding the following facts is important.
These pains indicate a damage to the nervous system. It means that a nerve (peripheral nervous system), more rarely a region of the brain or spinal cord (central nervous system) is damaged. So, they do not respond to classic painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol with or without codeine which targets inflammatory pain.
The most common cause for neuropathic pain is sciatica, which compresses the nerve of the same name located at the base of the spine. But many other diseases can cause this type of pain. Among such diseases the most common are carpal tunnel syndrome, alcoholism, diabetes, shingles (post-herpetic pain), multiple sclerosis, AIDS, stroke, or spinal cord injury. Several drugs used in cardiology (amiodarone) or oncology (chemotherapy based on vinca-alkaloids, platinum salts, or taxanes) can also induce neuropathic pain.
The medications used have many side effects. The former may cause dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, weight gain, headache, and edema.
And if it does not work?
The doctor still has several other options. Tramadol and morphine are highly effective drugs but they have more disadvantages than previous discussed one. Nausea, dizziness, constipation, dry mouth, and drowsiness are the common side-effects. However, it is mainly the risk of dependence or abuse that limit their long-term intake. Morphine is therefore recommended for third-line use.
Highly concentrated capsaicin patch treats peripheral neuropathic pain. Capsaicin, a derivative of pepper, initially induces a burning sensation and then an analgesic effect. This medication is dispensed only in the hospital because of the pain on application. The application on the skin of a lidocaine plaster (Versatis) is compared to the pain that occurs after shingles.
The use of botulinum toxin injections (Botox) to treat pain are under study. They are offered as a last resort medication because Botox is not yet officially authorized to be used for this purpose. Situations when the pain is localized, for example by hand, after a carpal tunnel operation, or on the back of the feet, in the case of diabetic neuropathies, are much better and easier to treat.
These pains remain challenging to treat because the mechanisms are very complicated and different from those of inflammatory pain. Recent Neuropathy Pain Relief work suggests that the characteristics of torture should be taken into account. For example, burn-type pain associated with electric shocks appears to be more responsive to some antiepileptic drugs; but we still lack data. Also, not all recommended drugs have a Marketing Authorization (MA) for the indication of neuropathic pain.