What Is Chronic Neuropathic Pain? Nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and indeed, the standard symptom of “pain” can take many forms.
When doctors hear patients describe their pain as “shooting, electrical, tingling, itching, or burning,” however, they’re prompted to narrow their diagnosis. That’s because these qualifiers are hallmarks of nerve pain — or to be more specific: chronic neuropathic pain.
Medical professionals use terms like allodynia and hyperalgesia to describe this type of pain. Both of these terms refer to pain that is out of proportion with the stimuli. For example, if light touches or small pinpricks are overly sensitive and feel like shooting pain, this means that the nerves are involved.
What Causes Chronic Neuropathic Pain?
In many cases, there are no obvious causes of neuropathic pain. In fact, there are over 100 types of nerve damage that may result in nerve pain, and different types of damage will also cause different symptoms.
Still, these are some of the most common contributing causes:
- Trauma or Compression: Compression of the nerves or specific trauma that caused compression may cause nerve damage and pain. Some examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves in the neck, and compression, or crush injuries, such as those endured in a car accident.
- Diabetes: The majority of those who have diabetes struggle with nerve pain. It is also a common symptom that will lead to a diabetes diagnosis. Most of the time, it is the sensory nerves that are affected by diabetes-related nerve pain. This can cause numbness or a burning pain, especially in the toes and feet. To avoid losing these extremities, it’s essential to consult with a doctor as soon as you experience diabetic nerve pain.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of certain vitamins and nutrients can cause nerve damage and pain as well. This can also be caused by alcoholism.
- Disease: Finally, multiple types of diseases can result in nerve pain. Some common examples include HIV, the herpes virus, hepatitis C, and Lyme disease. Motor neuron diseases may also cause nerve pain, as can autoimmune diseases like IBS, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and others.
It’s important to remember that sometimes, a particular cause of nerve pain may not be found. Even if this is the case for your pain, remember that seeking relief via nerve pain management should still be a priority. No matter what the cause of your nerve pain, at The Spine & Sports Health Center, we can help make you feel more comfortable and pain-free.
Common Signs and Symptoms
Again, it can be difficult to definitively identify neuropathic pain, and it’s often the case that physicians have to use their patients’ unique descriptions to accurately diagnose it. Symptoms can vary widely, but they may include:
- Shooting pain, sometimes with a light pressure
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Itchy or sensitive pain
- Hot or cold sensations
- Difficulty moving certain parts of your body
- Pain on one side of the body
- Incontinence or bowel problems
Optimal Treatment Options
There are numerous ways to treat nerve pain. At The Spine & Sports Health Center, we offer the following nerve pain management treatment options at all of our three locations in Bayonne, Hoboken, and Jersey City. All are non-invasive and have high success rates:
Physical therapy is a first line of defense for healing nerve pain. It’s common for patients to feel reticent about moving more when they are in such pain, but the results of this treatment can be truly remarkable for improving distress due to nerve damage. One of the reasons for this is that not moving can cause weakness, but by building strength, you can move more confidently and fluidly without discomfort. Furthermore, other physical therapy methods like manual therapy, massage, proper manipulation of the bones and joints, microcurrent stimulation, and treatments that eliminate inflammation can all help with nerve pain management.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that is still in use today because of its high success rate. Long ago, it was said that the insertion of thin, sterile needles at certain points on the body (acupoints) helped to release and unblock the body’s natural energy or chi. Today, the reasoning behind acupuncture’s healing success has more to do with nerves. It is understood that the needles stimulate certain nerves on the body, which helps to release endorphins in the brain. These endorphins will relax the muscles, dull pain, and help you feel good overall.
Get Nerve Pain Help With The Spine & Sports Health Center
The Spine & Sports Health Center can help with any nerve pain you may be experiencing. We offer all of the treatment options above, and with our three office locations in Hudson County - Jersey City, Bayonne, and Hoboken - we are never far away.
Treatment at The Spine & Sports Health Center starts with a diagnosis by one of our board-certified physicians. Each medical professional on our staff is board-certified and was trained at one of the top institutions in New York City or northern NJ. We employ the best acupuncturists, physical therapists, and physicians in the state. Our treatment options are non-invasive and therapeutic, and we treat all types of patients — from young athletes with sports injuries to older patients with arthritis.
Lead a more comfortable, pain-free life by letting us help you with your nerve pain. To book an appointment, give us a call at (201) 535-2474 or fill out a contact form here and someone will be in touch.