Neuropathic Pain (Nerve Pain) (cont.)

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What is the prognosis for neuropathic pain?

Many patients with neuropathic pain are able to find some measure of relief, even if their pain persists. Although neuropathic pain is not dangerous to a patient, the presence of chronic pain can negatively impact quality of life. Patients with chronic nerve pain may suffer from sleep deprivation or mood disorders, including depression and anxiety. Because of the underlying neuropathy and lack of sensory feedback, patients are at risk of developing injury or infection or unknowingly causing an escalation of an existing injury.

Can neuropathic pain be prevented?

The best way to prevent neuropathic pain is to avoid development of neuropathy. Monitoring and modifying lifestyle choices, including limiting the use of tobacco and alcohol; maintaining a healthy weight to decrease the risk of diabetes, degenerative joint disease, or stroke; and using good ergonomic form at work or when practicing hobbies to decrease the risk of repetitive stress injury are ways to decrease the risk of developing neuropathy and possible neuropathic pain.

REFERENCES:

Magrinelli, F., et al. "Neuropathic pain: diagnosis and treatment." Practical Neurology 13.5 (2013): 292-307.

Marchettini, P., et al. "Painful peripheral neuropathies." Current Neuropharmacology 4.3 (2006): 175-181.

Mendell, J., et al. "Clinical practice. Painful sensory neuropathy." New England Journal of Medicine 348.13 (2003): 1243-1255.

O'Connor, A. and R. Dworkin. "Treatment of neuropathic pain: an overview of recent guidelines." The American Journal of Medicine 122.10 Suppl (2009): S22-S32.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/11/2013

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