Whenever you feel pain in your body, a nerve is involved. Your nerves transmit information to and from your brain. When you stub your toe, the nerves in your toe send a signal that travels up through your spinal cord to the brain to let it know the toe has been injured.
There is another type of nerve pain that is experienced when the nerve itself is irritated or damaged. This type of pain is called neuralgia, neuropathy, neuropathic or neurogenic pain. It is caused by damage directly to the nerve due to injury, infection or disease. Neuralgia follows the path of the nerve and can be very intense.
Treatment for neuralgia and neuropathy can be varied. The type of nerve pain and its severity are factors in effective treatment. In some cases, addressing the cause, like controlling your diabetes, can help ease the pain. Treatments such as acupuncture and chiropractic care can also help with pain relief. Manhattan Sports Therapy offers effective alternatives to surgery for the treatment of nerve pain.
Types of Neuralgia
There are several types of neuralgia. Among the most common of these are:
- Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) – This type of neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve which innervates the face, mouth, teeth and nose. It can manifest as an electric shock-like feeling or burning sensation that happens intermittently. It can also manifest as a dull aching sensation in the face. Those living with multiple sclerosis are susceptible to TN.
- Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) – Affecting the nerves of the skin, PHN is most common to shingles. 10 -13% of people who have shingles will experience this type of nerve pain.
- Occipital neuralgia – The occipital nerves originate in the neck and send signals to the back of the head. Occipital neuralgia feels like throbbing or shooting pain that begins in the back of the head and moves along the scalp, sometimes affecting the back of the eyes.
- Intercostal Neuralgia – Intercostal muscles are those right below the ribs. Surgery involving the chest, injuries to the ribs, viral infections or pressure on the nerves in this area can cause intercostal neuralgia. The chest wall, upper back and upper abdomen are affected by this type of neuralgia. Coughing, laughing and even breathing can intensify the sharp, burning pain.
- Peripheral neuropathy – Also known as diabetic neuropathy, this type is very common among diabetics. It can affect one nerve or an entire group of nerves and affects muscle movements, causes problems with sensory information and the regulation of internal organs.
When working properly, your peripheral nerves receive information from the central nervous system, sending it to the rest of your body. Since the nervous system is a two-way system, sensory information from peripheral nerves is also sent back to the brain. Damage to this nervous system interrupts the process.
Damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord can cause changes in the sensations in your hands and feet or other parts of your body. Peripheral nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy usually results in weakness, numbness and pain.
Infections, traumatic injury, inherited conditions, exposure to toxins and metabolic issues are some of the main causes of neuropathy. Topping the list of causes is diabetes. In most cases, the onset is slow, taking many months or even years to develop.
Neuropathy pain is reported as a tingling sensation, burning or stabbing pain. With proper treatment, neuropathy symptoms can improve, particularly if the source is a condition which can be treated. Sometimes medications are used to control neuropathy pain.
Pain Relief for Neuropathy and Neuralgia
These conditions can be very painful, and depending on the cause and severity, can often be treated with non-invasive methods. A thorough examination identifying the cause of the nerve pain is required to develop an effective treatment plan. Dr. Rolland Nemirovsky and his team at Manhattan Sports Therapy are committed to helping patients overcome the pain associated with neuropathy and neuralgia using non-surgical methods of treatment.
Your pain can be successfully managed with the proper care. Contact Manhattan Sports Therapy today to schedule an appointment and consultation with Dr. Nemirovsky. Resume a pain-free, active lifestyle.