Neuralgia pain occurs when there is nerve damage, which can result from diabetes, pressure on the nerves, multiple sclerosis and other infections such as HIV, syphilis and Lyme disease, states Healthline. Common types of neuralgia include trigeminal and postherpetic neuralgia, says MedlinePlus. The elderly are prone to this condition, but people of any age can also experience it.
The symptoms of neuralgia include increased skin sensitivity near the damaged nerve, stabbing or sharp pain near the affected nerve, and muscle weakness in the affected part, explains MedlinePlus. A medical examination may indicate reflex problems, irregular skin sensation, loss of muscle mass, tenderness and trigger points. There may be a need to see a dentist if the pain occurs in the jaw or face. There are no particular medical tests for neuralgia, but a blood test, ultrasound, spinal tap and magnetic resonance imaging can help to identify the cause of pain.
Treatment for neuralgia depends on the underlying cause, states Healthline. In cases where the cause is unidentifiable, doctors focus on easing the pain. Some recommended treatments include physical therapy, surgery, nerve block and maintaining blood sugar levels. Patients may also use medications such as over-the-counter painkillers, anti-seizure medications, narcotic pain drugs and topical creams.