Pain Management: Neuropathic Pain (cont.)

What are the symptoms of neuropathic pain?

Symptoms may include:

  • Shooting and burning pain
  • Tingling and numbness

How is neuropathic pain diagnosed?

A doctor will conduct an interview and physical exam. He or she may ask questions about how you would describe your pain, when the pain occurs, or whether anything specific triggers the pain.

How is neuropathic pain treated?

Some neuropathic pain studies suggest the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aleve or Motrin, may ease pain. Some people may require a stronger painkiller, such as those containing morphine. Anticonvulsant and antidepressant drugs seem to work in some cases.

If another condition, such as diabetes, is involved, better management of that disorder may alleviate the pain.

In cases that are difficult to treat, a pain specialist may use invasive or implantable device therapies to effectively manage the pain. Electrical stimulation of the nerves involved in neuropathic pain generation may significantly control the pain symptoms.

Unfortunately, neuropathic pain often responds poorly to standard pain treatments and occasionally may get worse instead of better over time. For some people, it can lead to serious disability.


Reviewed by Ephraim K Brenman, DO on January 28, 2008

Last Editorial Review: 1/28/2003 6:53:09 PM