An uncomfortable tingling, stabbing, burning pain, numbness, or tenderness. Nerve pain manifests itself in many different ways, but almost everyone affected suffers greatly from it. These types of symptoms indicate neuropathy, a disorder of the nervous system. About five million people in Germany are affected by so-called neuropathic pain.
What are the causes?
Patients often have extreme skin sensitivity and even the lightest touch on the affected areas (e.g. hands, feet, shoulders, and back) can cause severe pain. Warm water also triggers a burning sensation in some people. The symptoms are varied and can also have different causes.
Nerve pain is usually related to damage to the nerve pain conduction or processing system. There can be different reasons:
Operations: During operations, nerve cells were injured.
Accidents: Accidents can injure the spinal cord, for example.
Amputations: Phantom pain can often occur here.
Diseases: Painful legs in diabetics, pain after shingles, or damage to the brain after a stroke can be the reason for nerve pain.
In most cases, the area of the body where the pain spreads is in the very area supplied by a damaged nerve root, damaged area of the brain, or an injured section of the spinal cord. If the pain is chronic, the tissue damage has healed but the pain still exists for no apparent reason. A pain memory has formed, the nerve cells are easier to excite and report a permanent “alarm” to the pain center.
In many cases, those who suffer from nerve pain resort to painkillers, sometimes for years. But this passive attitude towards complaints is not always helpful. There are extensive therapies in special pain centers that work in particular on dealing with pain and work out ways with those affected to break away from it psychologically. Because chronic pain patients often withdraw socially. Pain becomes the focus of life and determines everyday life. But now there are many ways to relieve the pain.
The attitude makes a big difference. For example, someone who suffers from back pain and only takes medication and lies in bed will hardly be able to improve this condition. However, patients can relieve back pain by swimming or running and bring more activity back into their lives. In addition, there are now nutritional therapies, because pain can also be significantly reduced by a healthy diet. Sufficient fluid intake, fresh vegetables, and avoiding alcohol and nicotine can support patients enormously in their quality of life.
In general, it’s important to get plenty of help and information to get the best possible results. Those who actively work on their pain relief feel better and actively participate in life again.