Symptoms 2022

Pain neuropática: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Pain neuropática: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Pain neuropática: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Neuropathic pain is a type of pain that results from damage to the nervous system, which can be caused by infections, such as herpes or diseases such as diabetes, for example, or result from a nervous system dysfunction. In addition, pain may be accompanied by swelling and sweating, changes in local blood flow, or tissue changes such as atrophy or osteoporosis.

This particular type of pain is caused when a "short circuit" alters nerve signals which are then abnormally interpreted in the brain, which can cause burning sensations and other extremely painful sensations, neuropathic pain being classified as one of the main types of chronic pain. Learn what chronic pain is and main types.

This disease does not respond very well to the usual treatments for pain, requiring central action analgesics, anticonvulsants or antidepressants.

What are the symptoms

Neuropathic pain is intense pain in the nerves of the body that can be accompanied by burning, pricking, shocks and hypersensitivity to touch, and may be accompanied by tingling or numbness in the region of the body whose nerve pathway is compromised. However, more than one nerve may be involved, leading to widespread pain, which can affect the trunk, legs, and arms.

Pain can also be accompanied by an exaggerated sensitivity to stimuli that do not usually cause pain, such as contact with clothing or other objects, and may persist even after removing the painful stimulus.

Pain can be intermittent or continuous and its intensity can be mild to very intense, depending on the cause and the nerves that are involved.

Causes of neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain can be caused by several factors such as:

  • Alcoholism or nutritional deficiency, which significantly affects nerve function;
  • Diabetes mellitus, which mainly affects the limbs, causing peripheral diabetic neuropathy;
  • Facial nerve problems;
  • Thyroid problems;
  • Infections by bacteria or viruses, such as syphilis, herpes or AIDS for example, which can affect the nerves by releasing toxins;
  • Spinal cord trauma caused by accidents, fractures or surgery;
  • Amputation of a limb, in which there is pain referred to the missing limb, known as phantom limb pain.

In addition, chemotherapy and diseases such as multiple myeloma and multiple sclerosis can also cause neuropathic pain. Learn more about multiple sclerosis.

How the diagnosis is made

Symptoms help to distinguish neuropathic pain from other types of pain, but they are not sufficient to confirm the diagnosis. Therefore, it is very important to talk to the doctor, who will be able to ask you some questions in order to know what the pain is like, when it occurs and with what intensity, and carry out a physical evaluation or neuromuscular exams, in order to determine which neurological regions are affected. affected.

What is the treatment

Neuropathic pain is usually curable, but if this is not possible, there are treatments that can help alleviate the suffering caused by the disease. Treatment depends on the disease causing the neuropathic pain, and consists of treating that disease or the nerve, and relieving the pain.

For this, anticonvulsant drugs can be used, such as Carbamazepine, Gabapentin or Pregabalin, for example, which act by decreasing the electrical activity of the nerves or inhibiting the passage of pain through certain nerve pathways, centrally acting analgesics such as Tramadol and Tapentadol, which calm the pain and decrease the electrical activity of the nerves, or even antidepressants such as Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline, which in addition to relieving pain, also act in depression, very common in people with pain in the chronic phase.

Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and the use of electrical and thermal stimuli can also improve physical function and help a person gain functionality. In more severe cases of neuropathic pain, surgery may be necessary.

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