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Neuropathic Pain


Neuropathic pain can be described as a shooting or burning pain. It can go away on its own but is often chronic. Sometimes it is can be severe and will come and go, often due to the result of nerve damage or a malfunctioning nervous system. Nerve damage can be a change in nerve function at the site of the injury and areas around it.

An example of neuropathic pain is phantom limb syndrome, a rare condition that occurs when an arm or a leg has been removed because of illness or injury, but the nervous system still receives pain messages from the nerves that carry impulses from the missing limb. The misfiring nerves cause pain.


Often due to the result of nerve damage or a malfunctioning nervous system, nerve pain can also be due to the following:

  • Alcoholism
  • Amputation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diabetes
  • Facial nerve problems
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nerve or spinal cord compression from herniated discs or from arthritis in the spine
  • Shingles
  • Spine surgery
  • Syphilis
  • Thyroid problems

Risk factors for the development of neuropathic pain depend on the underlying cause of the pain.

For example, risk factors for the development of post-herpetic neuralgia include shingles on the face.

Diabetes mellitus is another predisposing factor for the development of diabetic neuropathy.

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