Neuropathic pain is caused by pressure on or damage to your nerves. It's often simply called nerve pain. Some people feel this type of pain all the time. For others, it comes and goes.
Diabetes, shingles, or an injury can cause nerve pain. Many people say the pain feels sharp, burning, or stabbing. But some people feel it as a dull ache. In some cases, it makes your skin very sensitive. So touch, pressure, and other sensations that did not hurt before may now cause pain.
It's important to know that this kind of pain is real and can affect your quality of life. It's also important to know that treatment can help. Treatment includes pain medicines, exercise, and physical therapy.
Medicines can help reduce the number of pain signals that travel over the nerves. This can make the painful areas less sensitive. It can also help you sleep better and improve your mood. But medicines are only one part of successful treatment.
Most people do best with more than one kind of treatment. Your doctor may recommend that you try cognitive-behavioural therapy and stress management. Or, if needed, you may decide to try to quit smoking, lower your blood pressure, or better control blood sugar. These kinds of healthy changes can also make a difference.
If you feel that your treatment is not working, talk to your doctor. And be sure to tell your doctor if you think you might be depressed or anxious. These are common problems that can also be treated.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Pain medicines often cause constipation. To reduce constipation:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
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Current as of: October 14, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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