The Pain Management Clinic offers solutions to chronic pain including comprehensive treatments for the following conditions:
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Nerve (Neuropathic) pain is a chronic pain. It begins in the nerve fibers when they are damaged or dysfunctional. This damage can happen in the central nervous system or the peripheral nerves. The damaged nerve fibers give incorrect signals to other pain centers.
What causes nerve pain?
There are multiple reasons someone may develop neuropathic pain. For example, some types of neuropathic pain are due to medications such as chemotherapies. Others may experience nerve pain as a result of a disease that affects the nervous system, like cancer, Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple myeloma, multiple sclerosis, HIV and alcoholism.
Nerve pain is often present in diseases that attack sensory nerves. Patients with diabetes and conditions where certain nerves are compressed or inflamed such as carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica may experience neuropathic pain. Nerve pain may also result from trauma if nerves are severed or damaged. For example, patients suffering from spinal cord injury may experience neuropathic pain.
Phantom limb pain is another neuropathic pain disorder when pain feels like it is coming from an amputated limb.
Unfortunately, little is understood about some types of neuropathic pain, such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy. This is a very real pain with an unknown cause.
What are the symptoms of nerve pain?
Patients often experience nerve pain in the feet and hands as well as:
- Pins-and-needles sensation
The pain varies greatly in intensity for many patients and often worsens at night. It is a very concerning condition for many patients. Dealing with this chronic pain day in and day out can lead to anxiety and depression.
How will my MMG Physician diagnose my neuropathic pain?
Your doctor will first conduct a physical exam, learn your medical history and details of your pain history. He or she may also request neuropsychological assessments and neurological exams or order an EMG or NCS.
MRIs, electrophysiological tests and blood analyses may also help your Physician investigate your reason for pain.
What are the treatment options for my nerve pain?
A variety of treatment options exist for neuropathic pain depending on the location of the pain.
Your doctor may prescribe medication or pain patches. Your doctor may also recommend surgery in some cases. For example, a patient may need surgery to release a compressed nerve, as in carpal tunnel syndrome. An epidural steroid injection into the spine may relieve pain caused by a herniated disc.
Various therapies can help relieve neuropathic pain including:
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Massage therapy
- Relaxation therapy
Nerve Conduction Studies
A nerve conduction study (also known as nerve conduction velocity) measures how fast electrical impulses move through the nerves. Your doctor may order this test to identify nerve damage.
What happens during a nerve conduction study?
Electrode patches attached to your skin stimulate the nerves. One electrode stimulates your nerve with a very mild electrical impulse while the other records it. This process repeats for each nerve tested.
The speed is determined by measuring the distance between electrodes as well as the time it takes for electrical impulses to move between electrodes.
Why might my doctor order a nerve conduction velocity test?
Your doctor may order a nerve conduction velocity test to evaluate the following:
- Herniated disk disease
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy and neuropathy
- Sciatic nerve problems
Nerve conduction studies may also help discover the reason for continuous pain, numbness,and tingling.