Neuropathic Pain: The Basics

“Neuropathic pain (nerve pain), is a frequent source of chronic pain which originates from a lesion of the nervous system. Innumerable diseases may be the culprits. Examples include autoimmune disease (e.g., multiple sclerosis), metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetic neuropathy), infection (e.g., shingles and the sequel, post-herpetic neuralgia), vascular disease (stroke), trauma, & cancer” [1]

Due to this vast array of different root causes, it is essential to book an appointment with an experienced Pain Specialist, who can give you can accurate diagnosis right from the get-go

 How is Neuropathic Pain Different to Other Types of Pain?

The former is distinguishable from other pain conditions, whereby the pain ‘s root cause is due to a non-neural (non-nerve) tissue disease.These types of non-neuropathic pain are classed as nociceptive (that is to say, relating to the sensation of pain), and incorporate common conditions such as inflammatory pain and osteoarthritis. Neuropathic pain itself, relates to pain which is rooted in the pathology of the nervous system. Common diseases which can generate neuropathic pain, include: autoimmune, “channelopathies,” nerve trauma, nerve compression, infection (herpes zoster), and diabetes [1]. In some cases, people are not aware that they may be suffering from a nervous system linked cause. To that end, having an online or in-person consultation with a Pain Doctor, is the smart cause of action. Moreover, after you diagnosis, you will be give a holistic Personalised Treatment Plan. – This may comprise standard and/or the latest cutting-edge treatments.

“Neuropathic pain reflects both peripheral & central sensitisation mechanisms. Abnormal signals arise not only from injured axons [the long thread-like element of a nerve cell along which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells], but also from the undamaged nociceptors that share the stimulated area of the injured nerve” [1]

 We Are All Different

Pain liability is variable according to certain factors such as age, gender, and differences in our nerves and nervous system. Of note: what seems to be an identical lesion, may not provoke pain in some individuals, yet may generate severe pain in others. Moreover, on top of their ongoing pain (that is to say, pain that is stimulus-independent), some individuals might experience heightened pain when a stimuli is placed on their skin. This latter scenario is known as hyperalgesia. In fact, in a percentage of cases, just stoking the skin lightly can bring on pain. This light touch pain is referred to as allodynia [1]. When you visit the Pain Specialist, they will explain everything in clear layman’s terms, and be ready to answer any concerns or questions you may have,




[1]. Campbell et al. “Mechanisms of Neuropathic Pain.” Neuron. 2006 Oct 5; 52(1): 77–92.