Neuropathic Pain: Current Understanding and Treatment Options

Neuropathic pain is caused by injury or damage to the nerves which transfer data between the brain & spinal cord from the muscles, skin, & other parts of the body.
“The pain is usually described as a burning sensation, & affected areas are often sensitive to the touch. Symptoms of neuropathic pain may also include excruciating pain, pins & needles, numbness, & difficulty sensing temperatures. Some people may find it hard to wear thick clothes, as even slight pressure can aggravate the pain” [1]

If any of these conditions apply to you, then contact a Pain Specialist right away. – They will give you an accurate diagnosis, & then devise a Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan, to start getting you back on track right from the get-go

So What Are the Main Causes of Neuropathic Pain?

These key causes include:

• Nerve pressure or nerve damage after a trauma or surgical procedure
• Viral infection
• Cancer
• Chemotherapy
• Vascular malformations
• Alcoholism
• Neurological conditions (e.g. multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions)
• Side-effects caused by particular pharmaceuticals [1].

“Occasionally, no identifiable cause is found which can be distressing for the individual experiencing the pain,” [1], & this is just one reason why having an in-person or online consultation with a Pain Doctor as soon as possible, is crucial

What Are the Treatment Options?

Every patient is different, so to that end, after the Pain Consultant has reviewed your medical history, and asked you a number of pertinent questions, (including your symptoms, how long you have had them, any specific times they occur, and what you are doing at the time they come about); they will propose one or more treatments that have been found to be effective. Note: it is a good idea to prepare a daily ‘Pain Diary,’ which you can show to your Pain Specialist.

The most popular treatments include:

• Antidepressants
• Opioids
• Capsaicin Cream
• Lidocaine patches
• Injections/nerve blocks which are administered by a Pain Specialist
• TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
• PENS (percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) [1].

Putting a Spotlight on Nerve Blocks

Regarded as a very popular, effective treatment option for negating pain; receiving a nerve block describes a Pain Doctor administering a local anaesthetic (numbing medication), close to specific nerves, for the purpose of reducing a patient’s pain in a particular region of their body [1]. So contact an experienced Pain Specialist to see if you are a suitable nerve block candidate.


[1]. Brain & Spine Foundation (2016). “Neuropathic Pain.”