Neuropathic pain is a pain that arises as a result of damage to the nervous system. It affects up to 10% of the population. Under normal conditions, the nerves are used to transmit pain signals through the spinal cord located in the spine to the consciousness, i.e. the brain. These signals inform about possible or existing damage to tissues and organs. Neuropathic pain arises when the transmission of motor and sensory information along the nerve fibers or the reception of this information in the spinal cord and the brain is disturbed. As a result of nerve damage, or as a result of their dysfunction, they begin to send incorrect, exaggerated and distorted information about the pain to the brain. This is a neuropathic pain that results from damage to the peripheral nervous system (nerves), such pain is then called neuralgia, neuralgia or neuropathy. In the case of damage to the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord), the brain also receives pain signals of “non-existent” damage. This is the so-called central neuropathic pain. The main symptom of neuropathic pain is disruptive, unpleasant, burning, burning, stabbing pain. The pain is accompanied by numbness, tingling, burning, limb spasms, cold or hot feeling in the limbs, feeling of weakness in the limbs. Skin hypersensitivity is common; pain can appear under the influence of touch, air blasts, contact with clothes, heat or cold. Extreme reactions appear like an excessive response to a painful stimulus or the abolition or weakening of sensation. Often pain occurs with a delay and radiates out of the area of the damaged nerve. Pain can be constant or paroxysmal, when it suddenly appears as a short-lived, extremely strong, even piercing feeling is often perceived as an “electric shock”. Ailments usually worsen at night, disturbing sleep or even causing insomnia. Often damage to the nerve is accompanied by swelling, skin changes, hair loss, lack of or increased sweating, vascular disorders – pale blue, cold limbs.
Neuropathic pain occurs in many diseases and conditions:
- discopathy, degenerative changes of the spine
- hematological diseases, e.g. multiple myeloma
- rheumatic diseases, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus
- Neuropathic pain may occur in the course of therapy with some medicines, e.g.
- during treatment with some anticancer preparations
- isoniazid used in the treatment of tuberculosis,
- phenytoin, which is an anti-epileptic medicine.
- Other causes of neuropathic pain include:
- nutritional deficiencies, e.g. in undernourished people, with intestinal absorption disorders, in alcoholics.
- excessive use of certain drugs and medicines, e.g. B vitamins, most often B6.
- poisoning with lead or other toxic substances.
The most important thing in treatment is the detection of the factor leading to neuropathic pain and neuropathic symptoms. If possible, eliminate the cause of its formation.
Treatment of neuropathic pain is difficult. Usually used analgesics are ineffective.
- local anesthetics and general
- medicines supporting the work of damaged nervous structures,
- physiotherapy, electrotherapy, magnetotherapy, laser therapy,
- hydrotherapy: pearl baths, water and whirlpool massage
- nerve blockages,
- massage, helps to eliminate or significantly reduce discomfort resulting from contractures or excessive muscle tension.