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Quick Facts

Neuropathic Pain

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Jul 2021| Content last modified Jul 2021
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What is neuropathic pain?

"Neuro-" refers to the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Neuropathic pain is pain that comes from damage or problems in your nerves, spinal cord, or brain.

  • Neuropathic pain is usually caused by nerve damage from an injury or a medical problem

  • Symptoms can include burning or tingling sensations, feeling extra sensitive to touch or cold, or deep aching pain

  • Neuropathic pain is hard to treat, but antidepressants and anticonvulsants (drugs for seizures) often help

What causes neuropathic pain?

What are the symptoms of neuropathic pain?

Symptoms of neuropathic pain include:

  • Burning or tingling feeling

  • Deep aching

  • Extreme sensitivity to heat, cold, or a light touch

Neuropathic pain is often present when nothing painful is happening to you.

Neuropathic pain can make it hard to work and do other normal daily activities, which can make you anxious or depressed. Anxiety and depression can also make neuropathic pain feel worse. Not doing normal activity also makes your muscles weak, so you become even less active.

How can doctors tell if I have neuropathic pain?

How do doctors treat neuropathic pain?

Doctors will treat the cause of your neuropathic pain, if it can be identified. They'll also treat neuropathic pain with:

  • Pain medicine

  • Antidepressants

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy

  • Surgery if needed to ease pressure on a nerve

  • Electrical stimulation (TENS)

  • Nerve block

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