Neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, is one of the leading causes of chronic pain. And, unfortunately, it’s one of the most complex types of pains. Many people who experience it describe the pain as stabbing, prickling, tingling, burning, or sharp – just to name a few. And these different feelings can vary greatly in intensity. From a dull ache of pins and needles to a debilitating agony, it affects people differently. Plus, the pain is often just in one spot, or throughout the body. Since the nervous system involves every aspect of your body, it can be difficult to pin point where the problem lies.
Where Does Nerve Pain Occur?
Nerve pain can occur to any of the three different types of nerves. The automatic nerves control the involuntary functions of the body. So, temperature regulation, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion are just some of the activates. Next are the motor nerves. These nerves connect your brain to your spine and your spine to your muscles. They control your movements and actions. Last are the sensory nerves which relay information from your skin and muscles to your spinal cord and brain. This is the type of nerve that processes pain, as well as other sensations.
Symptoms Associated With Nerve Pain
In addition to pain, there are often other symptoms related to nerve damage and irritation. If you have pain and any one of these symptoms, you should pay a visit to your doctor as soon as possible:
- Numbness – this may come across as either partial or complete loss of feeling. And it typically affects lower extremities, although it can affect any part of the body.
- Changes in skin appearance/texture – your nerves supply your organs, muscles, and your skin with information. And when they’re damaged they no longer supply the skin as it needs. If your skin becomes pale, red, or purple, or it looks spotty these can be signs of nerve damage.
- Muscle weakness – your muscles become weak for one reason: not enough use. When your nerves are damaged, it can be painful to work your muscles at all.
- Depression and anxiety – when you’re unable to do the things you once loved due to chronic pain, this can be cause enough for depression and anxiety.
What Causes Nerve Pain?
The causes of nerve pain are often the results of conditions and infectious diseases that damage the nerves. Multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer, as well as trauma and compression to the actual nerve. Like a broken bone or swelling can press up against the nerve, causing damage if not treated correctly. Plus, up to 70% of people with diabetes develop nerve pain. Plus, infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses alike can cause your nerves to destruct. Some to mention are Lyme disease, herpes, HIV, and hepatitis C.
How Is Nerve Pain Treated?
Depending on the reasons for the nerve pain, there are many actions to be taken. If you suffer from diabetes as well as nerve pain, it’s best to first regulate blood sugar levels. And no matter what conditions you have, it is recommended to address and correct nutritional deficiencies. Some medications can cause nerve damage, and speaking with your doctor about possible side effects is necessary. Finding gentle movement through physical therapy is beneficial no matter what conditions you suffer from. And last, taking the recommended meditation to treat the underlying condition first is necessary.
If you have nerve pain, you may have other conditions that need to be treated first. So, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as you realize you may be dealing with nerve damage or irritation. In many instances, nerve pain cannot be completely cured. However, there are ways to deal with the pain and lessen the amount of damage. Nerve damage is often progressive, so it’s best to get help as soon as you can. Some people find relief in pain relievers and antidepressants. While for other people acupuncture, hypnosis, and meditation provide relief. Above all, whatever your pain and your condition, there is relief available.