Neuropathic pain (neuralgia) is pain that arises from a dysfunction along the length of a nerve. The nerve dysfunction and thus the pain signals can arise from the nerve endings themselves or anywhere along the nerve as it passes through to the spinal cord and the brain.
Neuropathic pain is a common problem. Common examples of neuropathic pain include Trigemminal Neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy and post herpetic neuralgia.
Neuropathic pain is typically difficult for patients to describe. Common descriptive terms used are "burning", "tingling" or "electric shock like". Often neuropathic pain is associated with marked increased skin sensitivity such that seemingly normal sensations such as light touch with clothing results in significant searing pain sensations.
Recent advances in pain management have focused on developing drugs that are more effective at managing neuropathic pain. These drugs include for example the anti-convulsant medications – gabapentin and pregabalin and the topical application of drugs such as capsaicin.
At Oxford Pain Consultants we have a wealth of knowledge in managing patients with neuropathic pain syndromes and the consultants will advise and guide patients through appropriate pain management strategies.