The common traumatic pain; Neuropathic pain
Pain has been a major health challenge in the world right now because of lifestyle, sudden accident and so on. It could make life unbearable, reduce mobility and productivity.
Another disturbing fact is that it can affect any part of the body as it is made of nerves which conduct impulses all around the body; the bones and muscles are also present in almost all parts of the body. According to a research at Lawrence Berkely Natural Laboratory California United states, 1 billion neurons are linked to conduction of impulses in the brain alone.
What is Pain?
Pain can be simply defined as a condition caused by inflammation of the bone, joints, nerves or muscle in the body.
Classes of Pain
- Nociceptive pain
- Neuropathic pain
Nociceptive pains are pains caused by damage to a tissue at any particular part of the body. They include tremor, cuts, pressure and so on. This pain occurs because at any time we have an injury the tiny nerve endings are stimulated and send pain impulses to the brain via nerves.
They can be easily managed by the use of analgesics and other pains killers.
Neuropathic pain.It is also called Neuralgia in which pain comes from problem with signals from the nerves. It is different from the common pains that are felt from injuries or burns and therefore common pain killers don’t really do much. The problem is registered in the system causing the nerves to send pain signals or impulse to the brain. It produces some burning, stabbing, shooting, aching or like electric shock effect in the boy.
Cause of Neuropathic Pain
It’s very important for health professionals and patients to be aware of the potential causes of neuropathic pain because there could be likely hood of misdiagnosis.
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Phantom limb
- Post amputation pain
- Postherapetic neuralgia
- Multiple sclerosis
- HIV infection
It is possible to have both nociceptive and neuropathic pain at the same time; they could be caused by one condition. For example amputation could cause both nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
Forms of Neuropathic Pain
NP could also come in several sorts which are;
- This type of neuropathic pain is induced or gets complicated by the stimulus that ordinarily does not cause pain. For example staying in an air conditioned area can induce pain or make the pain get worse.
- This is a type of pain that originates or gets worse when it is triggered by something that can cause slight pain or discomfort. For example like touching a particular part of the body with the finger.
- Pains that gets worse with external triggers, feeling of a needle like stings or electric shock.
What to do in Neuropathic Pain
- Source treatment. In the management of neuropathic pain, it is very important to first search, discover and treat the main course of neuropathic pain. For example proper treatment of diabetes is the cure for diabetic neuropathy.
- Oral drugs treatment. The classes of drugs that are taken by mouth include analgesics, tricyclic antidepressants, atypical antidepressant and opiate pain killers.
Analgesics. Traditional pain killers only used to reduce pain.
Tricyclic antidepressant. One TCA used in neuropathic pain is Amitriptyline (triptyzole). Amitriptyline is very effective because it regulate nerve impulses between the neurones.it may ease pain within few weeks but it may be 2-3 weeks and can also be taken for several weeks to get the maximum benefits.
It is advisable to take the drug for a period of 4-6weeks to easily ascertain the progress of the treatment. Do not take with other medications without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
Atypical antidepressants. Duloxetine is a popular atypical drugs approved in 2004; use in the management of neuropathy. It’s capable of blocking pain signals in the brain. It’s can produce suicidal thoughts and other side effects are restlessness, acting without thinking, abnormal excitement, irritability and extreme worry.
Ensure you also discuss well with your pharmacist when you are on the medication.
Opiate pain killer. They are stronger traditional pain killers but are not use as first line drug of choice because of dependence and as well used for short period of time. Examples are Morphine, Codeine and Tramadol.
- Topical treatment. Capsaicin cream works by blocking nerve impulses to the brain. It is majorly employed when drugs fails to overcome the neuropathy or because of the side effects.
It is applied on the body site 3-4 times daily. It must not be applied on broken skin or after a hot bath because it can cause burning sensation.
- Pain Natural drug formulary 2008/2009 Edition; Nigeria Based on WHO Model formulary Page 43
- Neuropathic pain; Patientsinfo.com
- Causes of neuropathic pain Rightdiagnosis.com
- Facts about Amitriptyline Medilineplus.com