Pain can be defined as useful sensitivity of the nervous system, which helps in assessing any damage to tissues and organ of the body. Pain can be categorized based on the pain pathway, as nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain.
Nociceptive pain is a simple perception of any injury by the nerve ending that send pain signals to brain and can be easily treated by having traditional painkillers. While neuropathic pain is very intense type of pain with burning sensation, in which certain diseases or injuries results in increasing the sensitivity of the nerves and it is noticed that in this condition sensitivity, is so increased that non-painful signals like touching and cold also results in intolerable pain. The pains in this condition are seen to be worse at night and are very difficult to treat as compared to simple pain.
The main cause behind the development of neuropathic pain is related to dysfunction of the nervous system, either central or peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system involves problem related to brain and spinal cord while peripheral involves nerves linked to the rest of the body parts like in face, arms, and legs.
In some cases, it become difficult to find the exact cause behind the disease, however there are various other possible causes related to this condition are excessive alcohol consumption, nerve compression by any tumor, certain vitamins deficiency, certain medicines, and many disease conditions like trauma, multiple sclerosis, stroke, AIDS, diabetes and many others uncommon nerve disorders.
In neuropathic pain, severe, long lasting pain is the main symptom which is mainly due to the over-sensitization of the nervous system.
It had been seen that there are different conditions related to this disease, based on their sensitivity like dysesthesias in which there is spontaneous burning pain, while other like hyperesthesia, hyperalgesia, allodynia in which non-painful signal become painful, and hyperpathtia where unpleasant aggrieved pain response are seen.
Neuropathic pain can be diagnosed by counseling the patient suffering from different discomforts and physical examination can also help to find the present condition. Therefore, the best way to diagnose this disease is to go through the medical history and look all the aspects of ongoing symptoms.
The treatment of neuropathic pain depend on the severity of the condition, in different cases the people suffering from this disorder can be initially treated with analgesic belonging to different classes like NSAIDs, morphine, anticonvulsants, and antidepressant drugs. It has been seen that in some conditions like diabetes, management of increasing pain by these analgesic may become difficult.
In cases, where the treatment of different conditions related to this disease become difficult, one may go for different non-pharmacological techniques like psychological techniques, patient’s education, and electrical stimulation of the nerves by electrode implantation, and acupuncture, which may significantly control the pain symptoms.