What exactly is nerve pain and what causes it ? Will it ever go away
What exactly is nerve pain and what causes it ? Will it ever go away
Nerve pain is a kind of broad term that refers to pain that generally follows the path of a nerve and is the result of nerve damage. Lots of different factors can cause a nerve to elicit pain; they can be compressed by some sort of wound or trauma or inflammation in the area, nerve pain can occur as a result of surgery; infections such as shingles can cause nerves to flare up (very painful!), in diabetes poor blood flows to the nerves can cause them to become activated.
Nerve pain is often sharp and stabbing and burning but nerve damage can also simply cause numbness and hot and cold sensations.
How long it will last depends on its cause. If nerve pain is due to inflammation it should subside when the inflammation does; if its due to an infection it usually (but not always) subside when the body finally fights off the infection. If its due to diabetes then keeping the diabetes under control will obviously help.
Nerve damage/pain can be difficult to treat, however. You can find more out about peripheral neuropathy here.
Nerve pain is generally a burning sensation.Can be caused by an injury if it is damaged.Mine is caused by Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy which is a misfiring of the sympathetic nerve.I think it depends on the type of nerve pain whether your physician can do surgery or nerve blocks to help with the pain.
Nerve Pain, to me, is an unbearable source of misery.What causes it, I believe, is the brain sending signals, (nerve impulses), via the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, to areas of the body that are in distress due to any number of reasons. My nerve pain was caused by an injury in which I tore my rectus abdominus muscles and nerves off of my ribcage. The pain I feel is a sharp stabbing pain right in the middle of my chest, which radiates around my side to my spine. My entire left upper quadrant is effected. Will it ever go away? Not in my case. I was on massive doses of narcotics, have had every form of treatment available,unsuccessfully. Then finally I had a 3rd Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted, which was extremely successful. This implanted device was made by Boston Scientific, unlike my previous two, that were made by Medtronics. The new implant works so much better than the previous ones that I was able to take myself off all of the narcotics that I had been dependant on for almost 10 years. The unit acts as a substitute for the pain impulses that are sent from my brain. When I have the unit turned on, I feel a tingling sensation instead of the pain where my injury sites are. It is only a masking of the pain signals. But it feels soooo good as opposed to my typical sharp stabbing pain that I normally feel. This unit is rechargeable, and I can use it whenever I want to. But the battery in the implanted unit will run out someday, an average of 7-10 years depending on how much I use it. When the day comes when I try and turn the unit on and it doesn't work anymore, then I'll have to go back on meds until I either have another unit implanted, or some other device may have come out by then which will be more effective. Until that day comes, I can omly hope that this unit will work as well as it has been working for me since it was inplanted. I'll deal with it when it comes. Until then, I am enjoying not being dependant on medications and take one day at a time.
Nerve pain is caused when the sheath that is the exterior covering around the nerve disintagrates and leaves the nerve open and bare in the body. Many times the lack of vitamin B-12 causes the sheath disolves and leaves the nerve raw. In this case you will have to give yourself vitamin B-12 shots in order to cause the sheath to repair itself. Pill won't work becasue, they are not strong enough and don't stay in the body log enough to do what is needed to regrow the sheath.
Nerve pain is one of the most horrific pains that can inflict the body. Because our nerves are related to feeling, when a nerve is damaged any pain related to that damaged nerve is going to be 100 times worse than any other pain that you ever go through. Nerve pain has many symptoms; burning, throbbing, steady unending and unbearable pain, electric-like, or lightening-strike pain which seems to come from anywhere and nowhere at the same time, hit a place along your nerve path and strike it like lightening from the sky during a horrible thunderstorm. Only you can't hide from it because it's your very own damaged nerve that is attacking you.
Some nerve pain gets better with time, but if you are unlucky you may have a nerve injury that can not be healed and you will have to live with it for the rest of your life. My sciatic nerve was damaged, right in the buttock over 13 years ago now, and I have been in the most horrible pain, non-stop since the day it happened. No amount of narcotics helps it and by now I have been on very large doses of morphine for 13 years and my doctors will not raise the amount given so I really just take them to keep my body from going into withdrawal. Don't get me wrong now, they help take the edge off, but that is all. I can not sit on my butt because it increases the pain, standing increases the pain, exercise increases the pain and being absolutely still is excruciating. My life is unbearable and I can't take extra meds cause if I do I will run out before my next refill which I have to get from my doctor each month and if I run out, they won't give a new prescription, you will instead be sent to the hospital to keep from going into seizures and having a heart attack. You also will be labled a drug addict if you take more than is prescribed, it doesn't matter that your pain is not being controlled, it only matters that YOU are being controlled by the very people who are supposed to help you, but don't.
Sorry if I sound bitter, but walk in my shoes and you will understand that everything is bitter when it's hard to swallow what they tell me each month which is, "weelllll, you are on large doses, let's see how you get by next month...okay? then a shrug of the shoulders and out he goes!" Yep, that's hard to swallow when you want to be on the floor screaming from the intense pain that everybody ignores because they don't feel it.
Sorry. But thanks for listening. That's what nerve pain is for me.
I live with nerve damage in my face from having teeth pulled. It is a horrible pain. When it hits, I would rather be dead, then to feel it. Right now I am on 2 different types of seizure medication which helps alot. They control the pain, but my face still goes numb sometimes and my eye burns when the neuralgia is actting up..A small price to pay for the controlling of the pain. The neuralgia I have in my face is the worst type of pain you can have, and believe me it is true...I would not wish it on my worst enemy...Now my Dr. told me that seizure medication has been found to be very successful in treating nerve pain, also called neuralgia, and maybe you might want to bring that up on your next visit.
7 years ago I fainted from anxiety and fell off a chair, landing hard on my left shoulder. I tore the ligaments in it and ever since have had pain, caused by nerve messages from the brain- as told by physio's- in the shoulder and down the arm into the hand. 3 years after the injury I had 7mm of collar bone shaved away to aleviate rubbing, push the bone down that was protruding and stop the pain. the latter didn't stop. Recently finished accupuncture with NHS and 4th physio treatment. more excercises, nothing works. Don't sleep well, much pain, fed up and very down with it. Affects so much in life, from driving- even an automatic is painful!- to hanging washing out and cycling! Have been told pain will go, just habit messages from brain.
Any advice will be welcomed with open arms- the right one more open though!
At age 45 I took a disability retirement due to back problems and resultant depression. My primary MD would see me each month, run his fingers through his hair and say "See you in a month". This was the "Just say no" era and pain meds were even more scarce than they are today. I was so angry and had no real target for the anger, hence the depression. I was even put in the hospital one night because I told this MD I was contemplating suicide. Then, I was even MORW angry! I have since had 7 yes, that is seven spinal surgeries. I have had the double whammie of degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis. The body spurs grew into the central canal as well as into the spinal foraminae. They would act like scissors snipping at the spinal nerves causing the pain down arms or legs, depending on where the spurs or ruptured discs were.
The last spinal surgery was a major rebuild of my lumbar spine with a "fixture" and screws so I am fused/stabilized from L-1 to S-1. Was all of this surgery worth it? YES. It was worth it even though I am left with peripheral neuropathy and with a tethered cord in my neck. My pain level is mostly bearable now. Even the peripheral neuropathy is mild compared to the excruciating pain of the ruptured discs and the nerves scissored by the bone spurs. Even the arthritis pain pales in comparison to the pain of crushed nerves!
It took 25 years, a ton of medications, 7 spinal surgeries, 2 neurosurgeons, 2 rheumatologists, one orthopedic surgeon, a psychiatrist, a pain doctor, a handful of primary care physicians and a very supportive family and spouse to get me here.
I am now 72 years of age and in fairly good condition. I write this to urge you each to keep trying. There may be light at the end of the tunnel for you if you keep fighting.
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