Chronic pain is alarmingly common in the United States. Sadly, around 1 in 5 Americans suffer from some kind of chronic pain. Up to 10 percent of people in the US endure nerve pain on a day-to-day basis.
But what exactly does nerve pain feel like? What kinds of treatments are available to make things more bearable for sufferers? Read on to find out more about this increasingly common condition.
Symptoms of Nerve Pain
People who have nerve pain may experience it in different ways. For some people, it is a burning or tingling sensation, while others have sharp, shooting pains.
The intensity of the pain varies, too. Some people have constant pain, which is severe and hard to live with. Others may have intermittent pins and needles or prickling sensations.
Understanding Nerve Pain
Pain is intended to be a warning, to prevent further damage or harm to the body. But if nerve damage is present, then the nervous system does not function properly. False signals lead to the feeling of real pain, without a cause.
People who suffer from nerve pain may also suffer from muscle weakness, loss of feeling, or paralysis. Many patients also experience depression and anxiety as a result of their chronic pain.
Treatments for Nerve Pain
Nerve pain is very unpleasant to live with. It can feel hopeless to have to live with this condition indefinitely. However, there are various forms of pain management available to make things better for sufferers.
Medication such as traditional painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and stronger opioids or corticosteroids can help to reduce pain.
Other treatments include physical therapy and other holistic pain management strategies such as pacing, counseling, and relaxation techniques. Some patients benefit from nerve blocks, which involve the injection of anesthetic drugs or other chemicals into the affected area.
Most sufferers of chronic pain benefit from a multi-modal treatment approach.
What Is Radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is a specific type of nerve pain that is caused by a compressed or pinched nerve in the spine. This generally occurs either near the neck or the lower back area of the spine, although thoracic radiculopathy in the mid back area does occasionally occur too.
Symptoms are similar to sciatica and include weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain. It can be caused by osteoarthritis, herniated discs, or degenerative disc disease.
Various radiculopathy treatments exist. For some people, lifestyle changes and simple painkillers can manage the condition. Other sufferers require more intensive intervention if conservative treatment is ineffective.
It is possible that your pain management specialist might recommend spinal injections to treat radiculopathy. It is very rare for surgical treatment to be recommended.
Living With Nerve Pain
Living with nerve pain can be incredibly difficult, but there is help available and you don’t have to suffer in silence. Often, simple lifestyle changes can make a difference, and more intensive treatment options exist to help manage this difficult condition.
If you’ve enjoyed this article and found it informative, don’t hesitate to check out some other great health and lifestyle articles on the blog.