Neuropathic pain is a type of pain that occurs due to problems that happen with signals that takes place through nerves. The causes are many. The common neuropathic pain occurs due to pressure, burn and injury etc., traditional painkillers like codeine, paracetamol, anti-inflammatories aren’t of much help. Neuropathic pain gets relieved with the help of anti-epileptic medicines and antidepressants.
Neuropathic pain is caused when a problem occurs with one or more than one nerves. The nerve function gets affected in such a way that it starts sending pain messages to your brain. In other words it is also described as aching, stabbing, shooting and similar to electric shock.
There are different conditions that affect the functioning of nerves. This includes the following
- Pain that occurs after chemotherapy
- Facial pain
- Uncommon disorders in nerves
- Pain in phantom limb
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Pain followed by shingles
Treatment for Neuropathic pain
- If possible treating the main underlying cause
- Physical treatments
- Psychological treatments
Treating the underlying cause helps ease down the pain. For example if you are suffering from diabetic neuropathy, then keeping a check on your diabetes to keep in control helps reduce the neuropathic pain. If you are suffering from cancer and if it can be treated, it also reduces pain.
Medicines for neuropathic pain treatment
Common and traditional painkillers
In most cases common painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen isn’t much effective in reducing down the pain.
In tricyclic group the antidepressants are used to treat neuropathic pain. It is not actually used to treat depression. These antidepressants actually work on treating neuropathic pain apart from treating depression.
This antidepressant according to the research has shown good results in reducing neuropathic pain. Duloxetine is proved to be a good treatment for diabetic neuropathy whereas it hasn’t worked well for other types of neuropathic pain.
These painkillers are stronger for example morphine, codeine and other related drugs. These drugs cannot be used for a long-term as it has some side-effects associated with it.
Depending on the cause and site of neuropathic pain, a specialist may advise some physical treatments to reduce pain. This may include acupuncture, physiotherapy, PENS etc.
Pain can get worse due to stress, depression or anxiety. The feeling of having pain and it becomes impossible for the individual to decide how to react to pain and face circumstances. In such cases pain management programs, therapy related to cognitive behavioral, counseling and stress management plays an important role in reducing neuropathic pain and helping people deal with pain easily.
Neuropathic pain directly affects an individual’s life as he/she needs proper guidance and medical help to recover from pain. If the pain is chronic, it might take a longer period of time but again with right counseling and pain management programs the ability to deal with pain becomes easily and patient can deal with pain positively without getting into depression.