Pain typically comes and goes with minor to severe injuries, but have you ever woken up to discover that you suddenly are experiencing uncomfortable, burning pain? It can be scary. And, while your first course of action may be to reach for some pain relief medication, the cause of this kind of ache actually requires a different immediate reaction – seeing a doctor. That’s because you may be experiencing neuropathic pain, which is caused by damage to your neurological system.
Neuropathic vs Nociceptive Pain
There are two main types of pain, neuropathic and nociceptive. While nociceptive typically pertains to physical pain — like from bruises, burns, and fractures — neuropathic pain is caused by damage to your nerves or neurological system. Injuries related to neuropathic pain are generally described as shooting pain, and recipients sometimes feel a burning sensation along the path of their affected nerve.
Neuropathic Pain Causes
Similar to how bruises can cause nociceptive pain, illnesses are typically the cause of neuropathic pain. When pain is listed as a symptom, this is the type of pain that’s typically produced. Some of the most common conditions that cause neuropathic pain include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Thyroid problems
- HIV or AIDS
Diagnosing Neuropathic Pain
If you suspect you have neuropathic pain, you should see an orthopedic physician immediately. A doctor will provide a physical exam and determine if you have neuropathic or nociceptive pain. They’ll ask you a variety of questions about the pain you’re experiencing and may conduct a blood or nerve test if necessary.
Neuropathic Pain Treatment
Once it’s determined that you’re experiencing neuropathic pain and the cause of your pain has been identified and is being treated, your doctor may also prescribe:
- Anticonvulsant drugs
- Antidepressant drugs
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
In some cases, a pain specialist may use an implantable device to manage your pain. You should talk to an orthopedic doctor about your options before making any decisions about which medicinal drugs to take.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If pain is making life uncomfortable, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.