Having a pain-free body is almost a dream. At some point, you will be dealing with some level of discomfort from one cause or another. Even so, few things will cause as much agony and discomfort as nerve or neuropathic pain. Nerves run throughout your body and send electric impulses that determine the sensation you feel. The nerves, spinal cord, and brain are the major components of your sensory system.
Diseases in the spinal cord and brain often affect the functioning of the nerves. The resulting pain handled in a neuropathy clinic in Los Angeles is mostly described as shooting or burning pain that often leads to numbness or tingling. While it sometimes goes away without intervention, most cases of neuropathic pain are chronic. The typical causes of this pain include alcoholism, uncontrolled diabetes, HIV, syphilis, chemotherapy, amputation, and thyroid conditions. Most OTC medications are ineffective against neuropathic pain. As such, there are specific treatment modalities to guarantee your comfort when battling the pain. Here are the common approaches for the management of neuropathic pain:
In most cases, these are the first line management approach for neuropathic pain. The typical prescription drugs used include antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, gabapentin, and pregabalin ease neuropathic pain by acting on the specific brain centers that perceive pain. The common antidepressants used for neuropathic pain management include tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and SNRIs such as duloxetine.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
This is a safe and drug-free alternative for the management of neuropathic pain. It is often recommended for patients on drugs for other conditions that would otherwise interact with prescription medications. TENS will reduce your pain by blocking the perception of pain messages by the brain. Small rubber discs known as electrodes will be positioned on your skin before a mild electrical current is run through them. The approach causes a little discomfort when the current is applied but results in a soothing and relaxing sensation afterward.
Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS)
This works more like TENS. Unlike TENS, however, an electric current is delivered through acupuncture needles rather than electrodes. Although not as widely used, it is quite effective for diabetic neuropathy.
This is used in cases of neuropathic pain attributed to limb injuries. In exercise, your body’s blood flow is enhanced, and your heart is kept healthy. A physiotherapist will take you through the ideal exercises for restoring the functionality of your injured limb. By restoring function and blood flow to the injured limb, the nerve pain you experience will be diminished. If a specific limb is the one causing your nerve pain, a doctor might also recommend using topical patches that deliver pain medication to the affected site.
The impact of neuropathic pain is staggering. When left unmanaged through one of the approaches given above, it alienates you from your social circles, affects your ability to handle jobs, and drains your finances in buying pain-relieving medications. To this end, it is crucial to get the best management alternative for your pain the first time around.