In neuropathic pain (also called nerve pain or neuralgia) it is specifically about pain due to damage in the nervous system, causing painful stimuli that have no function. It can be caused damage to one nerve, a bundle of nerves, of the spinal cord or of the brain. Neuropathic pain often occurs on one side of the body, ie left or right. Neuropathic pain is almost always a chronic condition, the pain can last for weeks to months or years and is sometimes permanent. Neuropathic pain is often difficult to treat.
Symptoms of neuropathic pain
There are a number of characteristics or symptoms to which neuropathic pain can be recognized such as stabbing, burning, distressing or electric shock; it often goes together with tingling or numbness. The painful area does not always have to be the same as the place where the nerve damage is. Neuropathic pain has a number of characteristics that can occur alone or at the same time:
There are painful sensations without a clear pain stimulus. This is spontaneous pain or hyperpathia.
Pain is felt from a stimulus that normally does not hurt, for example touching the skin, performing a certain movement, or from cold or heat. This is called allodynia.
There is a violent reaction to a stimulus that is slightly painful, such as intense pain with a pin prick. This is called hyperalgesia.
There may be abnormal sensations in a part of the body that can be compared to electric shocks, vibrations, tingling or other sensations. These are called paresthesias. If these are unpleasant and unpleasant sensations then it is called dysesthesia.
Neuropathic pain can have many causes. Inflammation, tightness of a nerve, infection or disease can damage a nerve; on the other hand, no clear cause is sometimes found. A distinction is made between neuropathic pain of the central nervous system and neuropathic pain of the peripheral nervous system. With the central nervous system is meant the brain, the brain stem and the spinal cord. With the peripheral nervous system is meant all nerves that run from the spinal cord to the arms and legs.