Neuropathy, CRPS, RSD, Complex Regional Pain Synrome, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Neuralgia, Neuritis

Neuropathic Pain, Neuralgia & Neuritis Summary

Pain is vital to keeping us alive. When our body is exposed to things that could harm or injure us, pain stimuli are transmitted from our pain receptors, up through specialized pain nerves, up through the spinal cord, to the brain, where we feel pain. Then circuits in our brain and spinal cord make our body move out of harm's way, while our mind learns how to avoid the same situation in the future. That's all normal.

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 Neuropathies

Treatment 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 Neuropathies

Some 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:

Read More About Neuropathic Pain, Neuralgia, Neuritis

  1. WebMD intro to neuropathic pain. Really easy to read with nice graphics. Good starting point.
  2. Neuropathic Pain Management WebMD
  3. Wikipedia, but it's not the best wiki article ever written. WebMD is much better.
  4. American Chronic Pain Association. Great resource.
  5. Trigeminal Neuralgia
  6. Merchk Manual overview of neuropathies
  7. Treatment options for neuropathy. There are none that are always "good or great"