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Nerve Pain: how to manage?

What is Nerve Pain?

Nerve pain or neuropathic pain is a condition where there is pain because of nerve damage. It is characterized not only by pain, but also numbness, tingling, burning sensations and weakness that arise out of nerve damage. This pain is more common in the feet and the hands.

What are the common causes of nerve pain?

Diabetes is one of the most common causes, other causes are injuries, infections, slip disc and prolonged exposure to certain toxins etc.

How can you treat nerve pain?

Nerve pain can be the points that have been mentioned below:

  1. Topical Painkillers: Don’t have much role: These are also dangerous because we never measure the amount we apply on skin. These pain killers is absorbed through skin and produce same side effects like when it is taken orally.  

Certain over the counter ointments and creams can help relieve nerve pain. These medications act as local anaesthetics, Capsaicin, a derivative of chili peppers, is one of the major ingredients used in these medicines.

  1. Painkillers: Over the counter painkillers such as diclofenac, ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen do not really work well for severe pain of the nerves.
  2. Anti-neuropathic medicines: Some anti-depressants, some anti-convulsant helps in reducing the neuropathic pain. Pregabalin, Gabapentin, Amitriptyline and some other similar medicines are of real help.
  3. Physical Therapy: Physical Therapy can sometimes help. Particularly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is of definite help in neuropathic pain.
  4. Interventional Pain Management:
    • Sympathetic nerve block like stellate ganglion block, lumbar sympathetic block are very helpful in certain types of neuropathic pain.
    • Gasserian ganglion block is helpful in trigeminal neuralgia, one of the most severe nerve pain.
    • Spinal cord stimulation is one procedure like cardiac pace maker which is of immense help when all other options has failed. This is also called spinal cord pace maker.

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