Q:

What causes neuropathic pain?

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Quick Answer

Causes of neuropathic pain include alcoholism, diabetes, chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis and spine surgery, according to WebMD. Shingles, back problems and problems that affect the nerves in the face may also result in neuropathic pain. In most cases, however, there is no clear cause.

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Full Answer

Neuropathic pain is a condition in which an individual experiences chronic pain as a result of problems with signals from the nerves, notes WebMD. Typically, tissue injury accompanies this condition. Patients with neuropathic pain may experience numbness, shooting pain and tingling.

The diagnosis of neuropathic pain may involve interviewing the patient about the pain, examining the patient physically or conducting a blood or nerve test, says WebMD. Depending on the condition of neuropathic pain, a doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, opioid painkillers, antidepressants and anticonvulsants in treating the condition. If the pain results from underlying conditions such as HIV or AIDS and diabetes, the treatment involves proper management of the underlying condition. Acupuncture, physiotherapy, massage therapy and relaxation therapy may also help alleviate neuropathic pain. Electrical nerve stimulation may also help control neuropathic pain, especially in severe cases.

Neuropathic pain usually fails to respond properly to standard pain treatment methods and worsens with time instead, states WebMD. It is for this reason that a doctor may combine various treatment options for effective treatment of the condition.

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