If you are living with neuropathic pain like I am you know that the treatment can be frustrating and often ineffective. While acute short-term pain is usually easy to manage and many chronic pain conditions can be treated effectively, neuropathic pain can be a major treatment challenge for both patients and their healthcare providers.
In neuropathic pain the peripheral or central nervous systems are malfunctioning and become the cause of the pain. Neuropathic pain is usually perceived as a steady burning and/or “pins and needles” and/or “electric shock” sensations and/or tickling. The difference is due to the fact that “ordinary” pain stimulates only pain nerves, while a neuropathy often results in the firing of both pain and non-pain (touch, warm, cool) sensory nerves in the same area, producing signals that the spinal cord and brain do not normally expect to receive.
Neuropathic pain is produced by damage to, or pathological changes in the peripheral or central nervous systems. This type of pain is often a result of pain signals getting turned on, but not getting turned off. Unfortunately, neuropathic pain often responds poorly to standard pain treatments and occasionally the pain symptoms may get worse instead of better over time. For some people, this can lead to serious disability and a significantly decreased quality of life.
This is why early recognition and aggressive management of this type of pain is critical for successful treatment outcomes. Oftentimes, multiple treatment modalities need to be provided by a multidisciplinary pain management team.
There is a varied difference of opinions on the “right” type of medication management approaches for treating neuropathic pain conditions. Some healthcare providers think opiates are a good first line treatment approach while many others think they are not appropriate. If you are experiencing this type of pain learn as much as you can and discuss all the treatment options with your healthcare provider.
To learn about resolving hidden problems including self-defeating behaviors while undergoing chronic pain management please check out my article Managing the Inner Saboteur for Effective Chronic Pain Management that you can download for free on our Article page.
You can learn about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you are working with people undergoing chronic pain management and want to learn how to develop a plan for managing their chronic pain and coexisting psychological disorders; including depression, addiction and other coexisting psychological disorders effectively; please consider my book Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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