Neuropathic pain uses the same pathways as normal pain, but it is an abnormal type of pain. Conditions that are similar or related to neuropathic pain include nerve pain, neuropathy, neuralgia, neuritis, peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, , neuroma pain and most types of chronic pain. While psychological in nature, there are parallels between neuropathy and the PTSD and TBI syndromes. There are also parallels between neuropathy and fibromyalgia, which may be a type of neuropathy of the sympathetic nervous system. Shingles is a unique type of neuropathy.
In neuropathic pain, we perceive pain even when there are no painful stimuli from the pain receptors. There are many reasons and causes for this, but it ends up being a very painful sensation. Neuropathic pain is often described as burning, tingling, even scathing or on fire. With neuropathic pain, the nerve cells and fibers may be damaged. Sometimes, however, the nerve cells are dysfunctional without any evidence of damage. These damaged and dysfunctional nerves send incorrect signals to our spinal cord and brain. And sometimes, the entire problem is just not possible to pinpoint.
Treatment of NeuropathiesTreatment of neuropathic and chronic pains is more complex than acute pain. In general, narcotics should not be used, and may lead to increased mortality. There are a number of other potential drugs and therapies, but none are universally outstanding treatments. In some cases and types of pain, laser may be an exceptional or good treatment modality.
High-Power Laser Treatment of NeuropathiesSome neuropathic pains can be treated by laser therapy with exceptional results, while other types should not be treated by laser. Here's a brief guide:
- Shingles, herpes zoster pain: Potentially exceptional treatment results
- PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:Potentially exceptional treatment results
- TBI, late-term sequelae of traumatic brain injury:Potentially exceptional treatment results
- diabetic neuropathy: A good treatment option
- fibromyalgia, A good treatment option
- Trigeminal neuralgia: Rarely treatable by laser. The root causes are either contraindicated or not treatable.
- Other neuropathy, neuritis, chronic pains: A good treatment option
- Peripheral neuromas such as Morton's neuroma: A good treatment option
Read More About Neuropathic Pain, Neuralgia, Neuritis
WebMD intro to neuropathic pain. Really easy to read with nice graphics. Good starting point.
- Neuropathic Pain Management
- Wikipedia, but it's not the best wiki article ever written. WebMD is much better.
- American Chronic Pain Association. Great resource.
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Merchk Manual overview of neuropathies
- Treatment options for neuropathy. There are none that are always "good or great"
- Trigeminal Neuralgia. One of the most intense pains, ever. Too bad that laser won't treat the root cause.